An online colour naming experiment in Russian using Munsell colour samples

Paramei, Galina V. and Griber, Yulia A. and Mylonas, Dimitris (2017) An online colour naming experiment in Russian using Munsell colour samples. Color Research & Application, 43 (3). pp. 358-374. ISSN 1520-6378

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Russian colour naming was explored in a web-based psycholinguistic experiment. The purpose was threefold: to examine (i) CIELAB coordinates of centroids for 12 Russian basic colour terms (BCTs), including two Russian terms for ‘blue’, sinij ‘dark blue’ and goluboj ‘light blue’, and compare these with coordinates for the 11 English BCTs obtained in earlier studies; (ii) frequent non-BCTs and (iii) gender differences in colour naming. Native Russian speakers participated in the experiment using an unconstrained colour-naming method. Each participant named 20 colours, selected from 600 colours densely sampling the Munsell Color Solid. Colour names and response times of typing onset were registered. Several deviations between centroids of the Russian and English BCTs were found. The two Russian ‘blues’, as expected, divided the BLUE area along the lightness dimension; their centroids deviated from a centroid of English blue. Further minor departures were found between centroids of Russian and English counterparts of ‘brown’ and ‘red’. The Russian colour inventory confirmed the linguistic refinement of the PURPLE area, with high frequencies of non-BCTs. In addition, Russian speakers revealed elaborated naming strategies and use of a rich inventory of non-BCTs. Elicitation frequencies of the 12 BCTs were comparable for both genders; however, linguistic segmentation of colour space, employing a synthetic observer, revealed gender differences in naming colours, with more refined naming of the “warm” colours from females. We conclude that, along with universal perceptual factors, that govern categorical partition of colour space, Russian speakers’ colour naming reflects language-specific factors, supporting the weak relativity hypothesis.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: This is the peer reviewed version of an article which has been accepted for publication in Color Research and Application. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving. The definitive version is available at
Keywords: Russian; Colour naming; Web-based experiment; Colour space; CIELAB; Centroids; Gender differences; Linguistic segmentation
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > Psychology
Depositing User: Galina Paramei
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2017 10:47
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2018 09:06

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