[Lingtyp] query: "blue"/"green" and dialectal variation in English

David Gil gil at shh.mpg.de
Sun Apr 7 21:29:05 UTC 2019

Dear all,

I've recently become aware of dialectal variation within English with 
respect to the denotation of the colour terms "blue" and "green"; 
specifically, the extent to which they apply to intermediate colours 
such as cyan, turquoise and teal.I'm currently running an informal 
survey on google forms (see link below); the results are still coming 
in, but I'm already observing interesting dialectal variation.For 
example, in stimulus 8, showing a shade of teal, subjects are presented 
with a forced choice task: is it "blue" or "green"?The percentage of 
subjects who chose "blue" range from 19% in Australian English (23 
subjects) to 65% in USA English (97 subjects), with other countries 
occupying intermediate positions on the scale.

My question: has anybody described this kind of variation within English 
dialects before?It's the world's most studied language, and a very 
popular domain of investigation, and yet a Google search didn't come up 
with any references to precisely this kind of variation.Any comments 
related to this topic would be appreciated.




David Gil

Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
Kahlaische Strasse 10, 07745 Jena, Germany

Email: gil at shh.mpg.de
Office Phone (Germany): +49-3641686834
Mobile Phone (Indonesia): +62-81281162816

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