Publication details [#8831]

Philip, Gill. 2006. Connotative meaning in English and Italian colour-word metaphor. 10 : 59–93. 35 pp. URL
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language


Colour words are loaded with attributive, connotative meanings, many of which are realised in conventional linguistic expressions such as to feel blue, to be in the pink, and to see red. The use of such phrases on an everyday basis reinforces the currency of the connotative meanings which they assume in particular cultural and linguistic settings, and the phrases themselves are often cited as evidence of the existence of colours’ connotative meanings. But how do the colour words in conventional linguistic expressions relate to the multitude of symbolic meanings that colours (in general) are said to represent? Based on data extracted from general reference corpora as well as traditional reference works, this article examines the use of colour-word metaphors in English and Italian. It pays particular attention to the ways in which colour words take on connotative meanings, how the meanings are fixed linguistically, and similarities and differences across the two languages under examination. (Gill Philip)