Friday, September 10, 2010

Work... in a hardware store

I've spent a couple of afternoons this week loitering around my local hardware store, stealing their paint colour swatches. I'm not planning on repainting my room at the guest house in Nepal, instead I'm using the little colour swatches to check the definitions of different colours in Tam.

My current database has two separate words that roughly equate to blue and green - but a similar language I've been looking at has only one word for the two. This isn't too uncommon cross-linguistically; they're known generally as grue languages.

So I've got a whole bunch of blues and greens and aquas and bluey greens, greeny blues, yellowy greens and purpley blues as well as a bunch of other colours and I'm hopefully going to get a clearer picture on what the deal is.

If I were a proper linguist I'd use a Munsell Chip set, which is obviously much more universal than the 2010 Dulux colour range. However paint shop swatches are free and this is really only a primary analysis.

I've also been spending time in magic shops, buying magic tricks to hopefully elicit the way Tam speakers show surprise. It's times like these that I find it rather amusing to do the work that I do...

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