Colour terms in three languages:their distribution and function
- Číslo 2 
Source PeriodicalLinguistica Pragensia, 2014, 24, 2, 136-146
PublisherUniverzita Karlova, Filozofická fakulta
colour universals, parallel corpus, Czech, English, Dutch
Czech, English and Dutch colour adjectives are examined on the basis of InterCorp and other data to establish their equivalence where the very different numbers representing the three languages readily point to some major overlap in interlingual relations. The most conspicuous cases are discussed against the background of the typological features of these languages. There exist some familiar differences, such as the Czech červený-rudý corresponding to a single English equivalent, red, or the Dutch rood, although other, less familiar discrepancies may be found as well, such as the Dutch roos-roze for pink, růžový, occurring mostly in compounds. Out of the three basic sentence functions of adjectives which may be (1) attributiva tantum, (2) predicativa tantum, or have (3) non-specialized function, it is the last use (3) that is chosen for a further examination based on the available corpus data, as colour terms occur in all standard syntactic positions. However, only the predicative use of these colour adjectives is focused on as it appears to be special and not much research interest has been paid to it in general. Overall, the research did not produce a sufficient number of examples to allow detailed conclusions.