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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Basic Colour Terms in Ndebele
Authors:Davies, Ian
Davies, Christine
Corbett, Greville
Periodical:African Languages and Cultures
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Ndebele language (Zimbabwe)
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1771749
Abstract:The authors report a field study of the colour terms of the Bantu language Ndebele, the main language of southern Zimbabwe (Matabeleland). The main purposes of the study were to describe the Ndebele colour term inventory, and to determine which colour terms were basic, i.e. mono-lexemic, in order to test B. Berlin and P. Kay's theory of colour universals (1969). A sample of school children and a sample of adults performed a list task in order to identify Ndebele colour terms and to establish the relative salience of the terms. The adults also took part in a low resolution colour mapping task which provided a preliminary estimate of the range of referents of each term. The results show that Ndebele has four definite basic terms: terms for white, black, red and green with blue (grue). In addition, the children had a basic term for yellow, and as this term was taught formally in school, it may eventually become basic for the majority of the population. Both sets of basic terms are consistent with Berlin and Kay's theory. Bibliogr., note, sum.