colour words and part of speech

Claudia Wegener wegener at LING.UNI-GRAZ.AT
Tue Apr 4 13:42:07 UTC 2006

Savosavo (Papuan, Solomon Islands) has only a handful of color terms 
(some complex or derived). Four are intransitive verbs: sisi 'to be 
red', sere 'to be white', boragha 'to be black', and oreoregha 'to be 
yellow/orange'. They have to be nominalized in order to be used as 
modifiers in an NP. Four can be classified as adjectives/adjectival 
nominals: eko 'blue/green', posovata 'yellow/orange' (derived from a 
noun meaning ginger), boboragha 'black' (derived from the verb by 
reduplication which is not productively used to derive nominals in 
general or adjectives in particular from verbs), and gola kiba 'green' 
(really an NP but behaving like an adjective, lit. raw leaf).

Claudia Wegener

Claudia Wegener
Insitut für Sprachwissenschaft
Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz
Merangasse 70
8010 Graz

Tel.: +43-316-380-2423
Fax: +43-316-380-9780
Email: wegener at

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