Words for colors--Can Russians see the color blue?

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Magical Realist, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,635
    Interesting case study. Tks! I wonder if english-speakers actually know there are seven colors, the one always missed being indigo. Isn't it strange that while indigo is technically classified as a different color than blue, most of us still see it as simply blue?
     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,635
    And so how does a tribe train itself to distinguish colors they wouldn't otherwise distinguish and that can be taught to their children? They create a word for it and so give it the conceptual status of a separate color. I would think this would be intuitively obvious. Guess not..
     
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,287
    They may or may not, but they see something there. I wonder if the color blind are ee tweaked in the head by all the idiots today. Stunted from childbirth.

    Russians?
     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,140
    I should point out here what google translator has to say for this:

    Blue = синий
    Green = зеленый

    this are of course the adjective form of blue and green as nouns they are :

    Blue = синий цвет
    Green = зелень

    The noun form literally translates as "color blue" meaning they do not have a lone noun for blue... woopdy fucking doo!


    Magical Realist,

    You clearly side with Sapir-Whorf, I hate you

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    There have been cases of humans that lack language, such as deaf children raised in countries without any form of deaf education, they are clearly capable of intelligent abstraction, and can even derive a language amongst themselves, they clearly had complex thought but without language. I would assume intelligent animals can also conceptualize, like when a Heron figures out he can use bread to lure fish, clearly he had to think "if I place bread on top of the water, fish will come and then I can eat them!" even though its brain is incapable of giving words to such thoughts. Or say when a crow see 5 hunters enter a woods but only four leave and it thinks, "wait 5 went in, but only four came out, there one missing!" yes language has been a great tool for thought, allowing us to convey and receive thought, improve upon it and build all of civilization because of it, but thought can and does exist without language, without words. Finally have you ever been talking with someone, want to describe something but could not find the word for it, you knew in your head what you wanted to describe but you could not find a word to match it, that there is proof that thought precedes language! You think and then your brain automatically translates those thoughts into words even if it's an inner monolog, and just because you have this part of your brain that wont shut up and is constantly dictating your thoughts does not mean it's the part that actually thinks!
     
  8. Enmos Staff Member

    Messages:
    43,184
    ...

    Are you being serious? :crazy:
     
  9. youreyes amorphous ocean Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,826

    Blue = синий цвет = blue color
    Green = зеленый цвет = green color

    the colors are adjectives, all of them. There are no nouns for colors.
     
  10. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,140
    In English you mean, in English the colors are generally treated as adjectives, such to describe them as nouns we need to add the noun "the/a color", Russian has to do the same.
     
  11. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,635


    Good points. But I would suggest that our brains have evolved to be so wired for language that even deaf people have what I view as its categorizing apparatus in place. What after all IS a concept? A generalization. An idealization. A predicate whose sole phenomenal existence is derived from the descriptive context of language. It is not sufficient, when having a concept, to simply connect it to an image, say a dog for instance. An image of a dog in my head is always just an image of a particular dog, and not the concept of "dog" in itself. When I think about "dog" as a concept I am otoh unfettered by any particular image. I could imagine ANY dog and still grasp the concept of it being A dog. That definitional property of concepts free of any particular instantiation is what imo arises out language itself. We have to be aquainted with the word "dog" as a category of being before we can have the concept of "dog". Does this make any sense?
     
  12. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,798
    Even colors that are "disembodied" from their original objects attach themselves to other available objects:
    http://phys.org/news173626469.html

    Having a linguistically expressed concept of "red", as abstracted from its particular instances as a property of objects, surely helps discern it if ever floating on its own. But the brain apparently has its own innate and sub-lingual "conception" of colors, since it processes them independently of their original objects. That's the problem with grounding abstract entities in language, though it's certainly much easier than figuring out or dealing with how a concept would be realized in the context of a neural or electrochemical substrate, or just the spatial relations of oscillations.
     
  13. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,140
    I disagree, I believe people and perhaps some animals can create concepts without a label existing for them. Those deaf children for example had a concept they wanted to describe, they created words for those concepts, so the concept had to exist before the word.
     
  14. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,798
    A loose analogy being how a computer (or its OS) ignores or regards a plugged-in USB device as an "unknown" if the driver for it has not been installed. Although new "knowledge" can be both acquired and produced to supplement the uses and expand the territory of intrinsic "knowledge", the latter has to be the case to begin with in order for the former to be brought about. An empty, structureless box might receive "information", but lacks capacity to understand what it received (equivalent to a rock absorbing EM waves). And even if it has an organization for responding scheme-wise to what it assimilates, what is yielded is according to that "scheme", and not necessarily including the multitude of others (radios producing sound from inputted oscillations; audio-less televisions producing screen images). Obviously, though, I'm wandering here into a broader template than one for the manipulation of linguistic symbols that assist in the discerning of or classification / identification of objects.
     
  15. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    No. We frequently use the name of a color as a stand-alone noun.
    • I like this sweater, but do you have it in blue?
    • In June after the rains have brought the grass in this valley up to its full height, I feel like I'm in a sea of green.
    • Remember, use black to indicate a positive balance and red for negative.
    • There's too much grey in your mother's house; every time I go there I feel depressed.
    • It's St. Patrick's Day; why didn't you wear green?
     
  16. arauca Banned Banned

    Messages:
    4,564


    Russian flag bieliy siniy y krasny ( white blue and red ) the word sinie is blue thete is the other word goluboie means a light shade of blue, sky blue
     
  17. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,140
    English is ambiguous in this context and often makes one assume a word is being used as a noun, verb or adjective. Some languages are stricture and can't allow a word to be used outside its class without some kind of phonetic modification. I would prefer a language that strict in the sense of word functions.
     
  18. arauca Banned Banned

    Messages:
    4,564


    I don't know where did you get such nonsense . In Russian there is a cilor blue and a blue like in the sky , while I am not shire you have a comparable translation of the word GOLUBOY ( BLUE SKY ) blue
     
  19. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,635
    True. As adamant as my brain may be at calling my own eyes "blue" I can never quite succeed in getting that linguistic act to override the perception of my eyes being "green" when wearing a green shirt. There must be some algorithm in there dealing with the spatial proximity of colors that kicks in independently of even my most deliberate verbal designations.
     
  20. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,635
    It always amuses me how we arrive at these various conceptions as if we were not at this very instant literally saturated in language (in this case the written statements on this screen). How are we arriving at even a concept of "concept" without constructing it here and now thru language? If concepts are fundamentally non-verbal, why this heavy reliance on words to even express such a state?
     
  21. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    20,285
    This is actually very common. Japanese likewise refer to things we think of as green as blue and visa versa. The traffic like is blue. A green apple is blue. Many societies refer to green as blue and blue as green.

    Similarly, until somewhat recently the English had no word for orange. Which is the reason why people with orange hair are called red heads.
     
  22. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    20,285
    Actually, it's an interesting question.

    Humans have no photoreceptor for 'blue'. Although many books refer to blue green and red photoreceptors the blue is actually purple. So, when you 'experience' blue (such as when you 'see' your avatar) what you're really doing is creating that color in your mind. Now, if you had never had the word 'blue' would you still create such a distinct color? Maybe, maybe not. I've read that the color orange (as I mentioned above) will not develop linguistically until after the concepts blue and green emerge. Again, in Japanese midori (yes like the green drink) was a shade of blue. I seem to recall something about blue and green hues versus tints as an explanation but can't quite remember exactly why this mattered...

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    WIKI: Distinguishing blue from green in language


    NOTE: Oh, I see this thread has gotten a lot longer since I left for the weekend

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  23. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,140
    Got any other ideas on how to express it without language? Just because we need language to express thought does not mean we need language to generate thought.

    Never thought about it but Micheal right: the blue receptor does peak at ~430 nm and that is clearly purple. I still disagree that without the word we would not perceive it, many birds, reptiles and insects see in the UV, we don't have a word for the colors they see but they do see them and respond to them.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     

Share This Page