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Title: Structural semantics, with particular reference to the vocabulary of colour in modern standard French
Author: Forbes, Isabel
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1976
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This work is a study of the vocabulary of colour in modern standard French carried out within a framework of structural semantics. The first chapter contains a general discussion of semantic structure with particular reference to the relativity hypothesis and semantic universals. Then follows an analysis of data from three sources (1) colour terms elicited directly from French native speakers (2) colour terms elicited using the questionnaire method and (3) colour terms from the computer corpus of the Tresor de la Longue Francaise. The notion of basic colour terms is examined and the correlation between basicness and frequency is investigated. An account is given of experiments carried out by French speakers in order to establish (a) the best examples (foci) of colours designated by basic terms and (b) the boundaries netween them. Results of these experiments are compared with the results of similar experiments carried out on other languages and the degree of cross-cultural agreement about colour foci and colour boundaries is ascertained. Colour terms are considered not only in the language as a whole but also in sub-systems of the vocabulary and in context. Collocationally restricted terms are examined and in particular the uses of 'brun' and 'murron' are investigated. Physical and physiological aspects of colour are examined , particularly with reference to the notion of lexical opposition. Basic colour adjectives are examined on the levels of inflectional and derivational morphology, special attention being given to approximate colour terms. The concluding chapters contain a discussion of the key works of the past three decades by linguists, anthropologists and psychologists in the field of colour, and an account of some of the implications of the author's findings for structural semantics.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available