colour words and parts of speech

Balthasar Bickel autotype at UNI-LEIPZIG.DE
Tue Apr 4 12:24:06 UTC 2006

David - The color terms  in Belhare (Kiranti) ('black', 'red',  
'white', 'green', 'yellow') form their own subclass of adjectives,  
identified by a special 'color' article that the adjective takes in  
NPs, and there is one frequently used color term (for 'blue') that  
does not belong to this class but instead behaves like non-color  
adjectives and demonstratives.

The reason for the special behavior of the 'bue'-term seems fairly  
obvious: it's a recent borrowing from Nepali while all others either  
go back to old TB roots or are old and now well-integrated  
borrowings. I'd guess such splits are fairly common.


Bickel, B. (2003), 'Belhare', in G. Thurgood and R. J. LaPolla  
(eds.), The Sino-Tibetan languages, London: Routledge, 546 – 70.
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