Language and consciencous

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This topic contains 22 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  PopeBeanie 3 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #2591

    Simon Mathews
    Participant

    How are these two words different from “light blue” and “dark blue”? Also, if there are two words, then I would think it would make determining which word to use in borderline cases more confusing than easier.

    The difference is that the use of the two words describe a distinct boundary (like our blue/green). There is no distinct boundary between light and dark blue in English. It is a categorical distinction in Russian rather than a continuous one.

    I see what you’re saying about the two words making it confusing but that is not actually the task. The task is to be able to discriminate between two very similar hues and say whether they are the same or different. It is not to take a single hue and ascribe it to a category. Russians find it easier to say whether hues that can be considered to be in the “middle” of light and dark blue are different from one another.

    #2593

    Unseen
    Participant

    Russians find it easier to say whether hues that can be considered to be in the “middle” of light and dark blue are different from one another.

    Got a citation for that? Until then I just have to take a layman’s word on it.

    #2621

    Simon Mathews
    Participant

    Here’s an example study but there is a wealth of academic research on the topic if you search for it.

    I used to work at the University of Surrey with a professor who’d essentially spent 20 years of his career investigating flavours of this hypothesis which is how I know about it. It’s amazing how many studies are done in academia about seemingly the most esoteric of subjects.

    #2622

    Davis
    Participant

    In fact…most people in all cultures tend to agree on the principle shade of common colour terms (assuming that culture has the specific colour term). Given swatches with dozens of different hues…almost everyone within a culture that has a colour term for red…chooses lipstick red or at worst one or two slightly different shades darker or lighter. “Linguistics: A Very Short Introduction – Oxford University Press”.

    #2630

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    Simon Mathews wrote:
    Russians find it easier to say whether hues that can be considered to be in the “middle” of light and dark blue are different from one another.

    Got a citation for that? Until then I just have to take a layman’s word on it.

    I’ll add a layman’s take on that. Culturally, we (wasps? westerners?) don’t standardize on what exactly is light-blue or dark-blue, but (e.g.) Russians standardize more specific colors of blue. I’ll bet if the experiment compared our perceptions of just “blue” vs the perception of the two Russian colors, even the range of blue on a spectrum (say between green and purple) would vary, too. Point is, as “standard” as our set of colors seem to us, it’s the culture’s language that causes us to communicate and learn and communicate (i.e. it’s a feedback loop) some concepts more deeply than others.

    Colors of the rainbow: ROYBIV, red orange yellow blue indigo violet. To be honest, I don’t have a clue exactly where “indigo” lies, because I haven’t had to incorporate the word into my vocabulary. It’d take me longer to point out indigo on a test, too, and (according to the experiment in PNAS) I would be more likely to vary my answers to “what is indigo”. The interesting finding is that whenever I happened to be exposed (say) to the sounds of a normal conversation of bystanders, it’s even more likely that I’ll be slower and less accurate compared to people familiar with indigo, while they happen to be exposed to any similar, nearby conversation.

    Not to beat this esoterica about perception and consciousness into the mud, but artists and graphic printers dealing daily with an even larger gamut of colors probably perceive and think differently about the colors around them, and not just because there are more names to remember. Those specific colors also associate more deeply with specific objects we all see in our environment. I believe that primates in particular can detect more variations of red than other animals, and the evolutionary explanation for that is because it helps one to gauge the ripeness of fruit from a distance. That kind of perception and consciousness goes right to the root of one’s survival instincts, although culture also influences it. And some higher primate cultures (in addition to human culture) can vocalize that ripeness to each other, among other socially important concepts.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by  PopeBeanie. Reason: the usual fixes
    #2632

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    I believe that primates in particular can detect more variations of red than other animals, and the evolutionary explanation for that is because it helps one to gauge the ripeness of fruit from a distance.

    Dang me, I can’t stop! Just remembered another fascinating study about specific colors that primate retinas can or cannot detect, depending on the presence of a specific gene. (I don’t think we’re talking about what we know of as typical types of color blindness, but I could be wrong.) The fascinating thing is that scientists were able to give mature chimps gene therapy to their retinas, which allowed them to detect more colors, even though they didn’t learn how to perceive those colors when young!

    Correction/addendum: 1) Not chimps, but monkeys. 2) University of Washington-related research. 3) This topic is also interesting because we’re talking about relatively recent primate evolution, just as is the topic of pre-frontal cortex growth.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by  PopeBeanie. Reason: correction/addendum
    #2643

    Unseen
    Participant

    I’ll add a layman’s take on that. Culturally, we (wasps? westerners?) don’t standardize on what exactly is light-blue or dark-blue, but (e.g.) Russians standardize more specific colors of blue.

    People who study the visual arts often learn names for colors between the primary and secondary colors everyone knows as well as non-spectral colors such as the shades of brown.

    #2703

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    I’m taking American Sign Language, and ran across this painting from a Deaf artist. Art is a kind window into consciousness, so this one seemed interesting to me.

    symbolic hands

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by  PopeBeanie.
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