German Colour Terms

A study in their historical evolution from earliest times to the present

ISBN 9789027246103 | EUR 110.00 | USD 165.00
ISBN 9789027272027 | EUR 110.00 | USD 165.00
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This monograph provides, for the first time, a comprehensive historical analysis of German colour words from early beginnings to the present, based on data obtained from over one thousand texts.

Part 1 reviews previous work in colour linguistics. Part 2 describes and documents the formation of popular colour taxonomies and specialised nomenclatures in German across many periods and fields. The textual data examined will be of relevance to cultural historians in fields as far apart as philosophy, religious symbolism, medicine, mineralogy, optics, fine art, fashion, and dyeing technology.

Part 3 — the core of the work — traces linguistic developments in systematic detail across more than twelve centuries. Special attention is given to the evolving meanings of colour terms, their connotative values, figurative extensions, morphological productivity, and lexicographical registration. New light is shed on a range of scholarly issues and controversies, in ways relevant to German lexicologists and to specialists in other languages, notably French and English.

Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“[A] work of the highest quality: it is clearly written and laid out, meticulously researched, and it represents a successful attempt to organize and interpret the material assembled in the [author’s 2013 Historisches] Lexikon [deutscher Farbbezeichnungen]. The work also helps to fill a major gap in the literature. [...] Colour classification is a highly complex topic, which involves the interaction between the perception, interpretation, and lexicalization of referents (colours) which themselves combine a number of dimensions (hue, saturation, and brightness). A diachronic approach introduces further complication, and yet the author has brought order to this almost chaotic semantic field, and done so with clarity and rigour.”
“Die vielseitige Studie verdient auch in Disziplinen wie Anthropologie und Psychologie wahrgenommen zu werden.”
“Es ist, wie seine anderen Monographien auch, ein herausragendes Standardwerk, das sehr lange Bestand haben wird.”
“[U]ne compilation magistrale à la fois des sources primaires et de l’ensemble des travaux consacrés aux désignations de couleurs ; et l’on ne peut que souhaiter qu’il serve de point de départ à des recherches futures sur ces questions.”
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CHIARI, Sophie
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Griber, Yu. A.
2021. Mineralogical Code in Russian Color Names. Nauchnyi dialog :4  pp. 42 ff. DOI logo
Griber, Yulia A., Dimitris Mylonas & Galina V. Paramei
2018. Objects as culture‐specific referents of color terms in Russian. Color Research & Application 43:6  pp. 958 ff. DOI logo
Hodacs, Hanna
2016. Transferring and Substituting Tea and Colours. In Silk and Tea in the North,  pp. 147 ff. DOI logo
Hodacs, Hanna
2016. A Colourful Cargo for a Motley People. In Silk and Tea in the North,  pp. 90 ff. DOI logo
Kleinwächter, Tanja C., Sarah Lowengard & Friedrich Steinle
2023. Introduction: Ordering Colours in Eighteenth- and Early Nineteenth-Century Europe. In Ordering Colours in 18th and Early 19th Century Europe [International Archives of the History of Ideas Archives internationales d'histoire des idées, 244],  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Levisen, Carsten
2019. “Brightness” in color linguistics. In Lexicalization patterns in color naming [Studies in Functional and Structural Linguistics, 78],  pp. 83 ff. DOI logo
Mylonas, Dimitris, Serge Caparos & Jules Davidoff
2022. Augmenting a colour lexicon. Humanities and Social Sciences Communications 9:1 DOI logo
Simonini, Giulia
2018. Organising Colours: Patrick Syme’s Colour Chart and Nomenclature for Scientific Purposes. XVII-XVIII :75 DOI logo
Uusküla, Mari
2022. Translation of Color Language. In Encyclopedia of Color Science and Technology,  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Uusküla, Mari
2023. Translation of Color Language. In Encyclopedia of Color Science and Technology,  pp. 1531 ff. DOI logo
Vejdemo, Susanne
2018. Lexical change often begins and ends in semantic peripheries. Pragmatics & Cognition 25:1  pp. 50 ff. DOI logo
Witzel, Christoph
2019. Misconceptions About Colour Categories. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 10:3  pp. 499 ff. DOI logo
Wynn, Addison H.
2021. A new species of Gerrhopilus (family: Gerrhopilidae), with comments on the taxonomic status of Gerrhopilus ater suturalis (Brongersma). The Anatomical Record 304:10  pp. 2243 ff. DOI logo
Zilli, Alberto & Nick V. Grishin
2019. Unveiling one of the rarest ‘butterflies’ ever (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae, Noctuidae). Systematic Entomology 44:2  pp. 384 ff. DOI logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 16 march 2024. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.


Terminology & Lexicography


Main BIC Subject

CF/2ACG: Linguistics/German

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2013008962 | Marc record