Edited by Lindsay W. MacDonald, Carole P. Biggam and Galina V. Paramei
[Not in series 217] 2018
► pp. 167–178
Addressed to non-semanticists, this article discusses the means by which colour semanticists strive to pursue their research with as much objectivity as possible. Three functions of colour terms are presented: descriptive, classificatory and connotative, showing that colour expressions operate differently in various semantic environments. In addition, lexical meanings can change over the years, as a result, for example, of semantic shift or contact with other languages, and this is likely to render inappropriate the application of modern colour-term definitions to their historical antecedents. Finally, a connotative case-study of hair-colour descriptors in English across the centuries reveals that words operating in restricted contexts can convey more than colour.