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Language shapes our perception of the world.

Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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3/27/2016 7:45:27 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
http://modernnotion.com...

https://eagereyes.org...

The video is short and illustrative.

Lazarus Geiger noticed that the sea in ancient Greek literature was described as "dark wine color". He did further studies on other ancient languages and found that around the same time there was no color named blue. He even recognized a pattern of the emergence of color names. To see if vocabulary had an affect on perception an experiment on the Himba tribe of Namibia was carried out.

this tribe had no word for the color blue. And yet they had a dozen or more for the color green. When shown a slide of of different squares they were asked to picked out the square that was different. When one square was a hue of blue and the others green, the tribesmen could not select the right square. But when shown a similar slide of faintly different hues of green, a variation most westerns would have a hard time picking, they had no trouble selecting the one green square slightly different.

Is it physiological, Something physically different between European people and the people of the Himba tribe?

Or is it psychological, an impact of vocabulary upon perception?

Interesting side note. When I look at the stack of colors in the third link, I see orchid as a blue definitely different from the purples around it. Am I crazy?
Emmarie
Posts: 1,907
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3/27/2016 7:59:25 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/27/2016 7:45:27 AM, Mhykiel wrote:


http://modernnotion.com...

https://eagereyes.org...

The video is short and illustrative.

Lazarus Geiger noticed that the sea in ancient Greek literature was described as "dark wine color". He did further studies on other ancient languages and found that around the same time there was no color named blue. He even recognized a pattern of the emergence of color names. To see if vocabulary had an affect on perception an experiment on the Himba tribe of Namibia was carried out.

this tribe had no word for the color blue. And yet they had a dozen or more for the color green. When shown a slide of of different squares they were asked to picked out the square that was different. When one square was a hue of blue and the others green, the tribesmen could not select the right square. But when shown a similar slide of faintly different hues of green, a variation most westerns would have a hard time picking, they had no trouble selecting the one green square slightly different.

Is it physiological, Something physically different between European people and the people of the Himba tribe?

Or is it psychological, an impact of vocabulary upon perception?

Interesting side note. When I look at the stack of colors in the third link, I see orchid as a blue definitely different from the purples around it. Am I crazy?
I don't know if you're crazy, there is no third link posted.
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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3/27/2016 8:03:27 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/27/2016 7:59:25 AM, Emmarie wrote:
At 3/27/2016 7:45:27 AM, Mhykiel wrote:


http://modernnotion.com...

https://eagereyes.org...

The video is short and illustrative.

Lazarus Geiger noticed that the sea in ancient Greek literature was described as "dark wine color". He did further studies on other ancient languages and found that around the same time there was no color named blue. He even recognized a pattern of the emergence of color names. To see if vocabulary had an affect on perception an experiment on the Himba tribe of Namibia was carried out.

this tribe had no word for the color blue. And yet they had a dozen or more for the color green. When shown a slide of of different squares they were asked to picked out the square that was different. When one square was a hue of blue and the others green, the tribesmen could not select the right square. But when shown a similar slide of faintly different hues of green, a variation most westerns would have a hard time picking, they had no trouble selecting the one green square slightly different.

Is it physiological, Something physically different between European people and the people of the Himba tribe?

Or is it psychological, an impact of vocabulary upon perception?

Interesting side note. When I look at the stack of colors in the third link, I see orchid as a blue definitely different from the purples around it. Am I crazy?
I don't know if you're crazy, there is no third link posted.

The third is the last one, the first link was transformed into a youtube plugin. I thought the link text remained when the plug in was added i was wrong.
Emmarie
Posts: 1,907
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3/27/2016 8:07:14 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/27/2016 8:03:27 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 3/27/2016 7:59:25 AM, Emmarie wrote:
At 3/27/2016 7:45:27 AM, Mhykiel wrote:


http://modernnotion.com...

https://eagereyes.org...

The video is short and illustrative.

Lazarus Geiger noticed that the sea in ancient Greek literature was described as "dark wine color". He did further studies on other ancient languages and found that around the same time there was no color named blue. He even recognized a pattern of the emergence of color names. To see if vocabulary had an affect on perception an experiment on the Himba tribe of Namibia was carried out.

this tribe had no word for the color blue. And yet they had a dozen or more for the color green. When shown a slide of of different squares they were asked to picked out the square that was different. When one square was a hue of blue and the others green, the tribesmen could not select the right square. But when shown a similar slide of faintly different hues of green, a variation most westerns would have a hard time picking, they had no trouble selecting the one green square slightly different.

Is it physiological, Something physically different between European people and the people of the Himba tribe?

Or is it psychological, an impact of vocabulary upon perception?

Interesting side note. When I look at the stack of colors in the third link, I see orchid as a blue definitely different from the purples around it. Am I crazy?
I don't know if you're crazy, there is no third link posted.

The third is the last one, the first link was transformed into a youtube plugin. I thought the link text remained when the plug in was added i was wrong.

yeah the orchid looks periwinkle to me - which is an admixture of blue and violet but closer to blue.
Emmarie
Posts: 1,907
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3/27/2016 8:09:48 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/27/2016 8:07:14 AM, Emmarie wrote:
At 3/27/2016 8:03:27 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 3/27/2016 7:59:25 AM, Emmarie wrote:
At 3/27/2016 7:45:27 AM, Mhykiel wrote:


http://modernnotion.com...

https://eagereyes.org...

The video is short and illustrative.

Lazarus Geiger noticed that the sea in ancient Greek literature was described as "dark wine color". He did further studies on other ancient languages and found that around the same time there was no color named blue. He even recognized a pattern of the emergence of color names. To see if vocabulary had an affect on perception an experiment on the Himba tribe of Namibia was carried out.

this tribe had no word for the color blue. And yet they had a dozen or more for the color green. When shown a slide of of different squares they were asked to picked out the square that was different. When one square was a hue of blue and the others green, the tribesmen could not select the right square. But when shown a similar slide of faintly different hues of green, a variation most westerns would have a hard time picking, they had no trouble selecting the one green square slightly different.

Is it physiological, Something physically different between European people and the people of the Himba tribe?

Or is it psychological, an impact of vocabulary upon perception?

Interesting side note. When I look at the stack of colors in the third link, I see orchid as a blue definitely different from the purples around it. Am I crazy?
I don't know if you're crazy, there is no third link posted.

The third is the last one, the first link was transformed into a youtube plugin. I thought the link text remained when the plug in was added i was wrong.

yeah the orchid looks periwinkle to me - which is an admixture of blue and violet but closer to blue.

http://www.naturalherbalextracts.com...
DPMartin
Posts: 1,096
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3/27/2016 3:23:43 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/27/2016 7:45:27 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
The video is short and illustrative.

Lazarus Geiger noticed that the sea in ancient Greek literature was described as "dark wine color". He did further studies on other ancient languages and found that around the same time there was no color named blue. He even recognized a pattern of the emergence of color names. To see if vocabulary had an affect on perception an experiment on the Himba tribe of Namibia was carried out.

this tribe had no word for the color blue. And yet they had a dozen or more for the color green. When shown a slide of of different squares they were asked to picked out the square that was different. When one square was a hue of blue and the others green, the tribesmen could not select the right square. But when shown a similar slide of faintly different hues of green, a variation most westerns would have a hard time picking, they had no trouble selecting the one green square slightly different.

Is it physiological, Something physically different between European people and the people of the Himba tribe?

Or is it psychological, an impact of vocabulary upon perception?

Interesting side note. When I look at the stack of colors in the third link, I see orchid as a blue definitely different from the purples around it. Am I crazy?

Ah, this don't make any sense what so ever, what was understood as the color of a clear sky. It seems the source is misinforming, no matter the tribe or group of people, it's really hard to believe their children didn't ask the question what color is the sky, without having an answer.
keithprosser
Posts: 1,968
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3/27/2016 5:48:44 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
Isn't it possible that the tribe had endemic blue/green colour-blindness? A small isloated tribe with a higher than usual degree of inbreeding could easily all suffer the same genetic problem.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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3/28/2016 3:58:39 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
Either the tribe was colorblind (which would also explain why they had no word for blue) or they didn't know what was being asked of them. If it was really the case that we needed language in order to differentiate between colors, we couldn't even learn what the colors were in the first place, as the concepts that the words are supposed to represent would be alien to us.
Welfare-Worker
Posts: 1,173
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3/28/2016 3:42:47 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/28/2016 3:58:39 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Either the tribe was colorblind (which would also explain why they had no word for blue) or they didn't know what was being asked of them. If it was really the case that we needed language in order to differentiate between colors, we couldn't even learn what the colors were in the first place, as the concepts that the words are supposed to represent would be alien to us.

May I suggest a third possibility (rhetorical).

"So I went looking for a publication with a clear description of the stimuli, as well as a description of the experiment and the results. And I struck out, utterly and completely.

Looking for Himba color in Google Scholar, I find things like Rachel Adelson, "Hues and views: A cross-cultural study reveals how language shapes color perception", American Psychological Association Monitor, 2/2005; Roberson et al., "Color categories: Evidence for the cultural relativity hypothesis", Cognitive Psychology 2005; Goldstein et al., "Knowing color terms enhances recognition: Further evidence from English and Himba", Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 2008 " but none of these describe an experiment anything like the one shown in the 2011 BBC documentary, and discussed in various places since then.

The documentary names Serge Caparos as the experimenter, and we see him and hear him running the experiment and discussing the results. But as far as I can tell, searching for Serge Caparos Himba color again leaves us without any publication that describes the experiment we're looking for.

So either
1.The experiment was abandoned because it failed, or because serious design flaws turned up in the review process; or
2.The experiment was abandoned because the author(s) went on to other things, or couldn't write it up for personal reasons; or
3.The experiment has been published, but my search techniques were unable to find it.

Whatever the explanation, I submit that the BBC documentary (and the subsequent coverage) has given us a sensationalist interpretation of an undocumented experiment, presented as reliable science, without giving us any basis to trust that this interpretation is even close to true."
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu...

Looking for the source document, always a recommended course of action, a serious scholar finds none.

We do have this:
"In short, the range of stimuli that for Himba speakers comes to be categorized as "serandu" would be categorized in English as red, orange or pink. As another example, Himba children come to use one word, "zoozu," to embrace a variety of dark colors that English speakers would call dark blue, dark green, dark brown, dark purple, dark red or black."
http://www.apa.org...

This indicates the Himba do have a word for the color 'blue' - and it is "zoozu"., and it applies to other colors as well.

The Inuit have many words for 'snow'.
http://ontology.buffalo.edu...

My culture has no word for "hiryla", or "ontla", but this does not mean we do not recognize the difference between snow in beards, and snow on other objects.
skipsaweirdo
Posts: 1,864
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4/5/2016 2:25:48 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/27/2016 5:48:44 PM, keithprosser wrote:
Isn't it possible that the tribe had endemic blue/green colour-blindness? A small isloated tribe with a higher than usual degree of inbreeding could easily all suffer the same genetic problem.
You didn't watch the video. Historically speaking there is or has been a pattern to not associate blue as a color. It literally can't be coincidence that numerous ancient cultures named "blue" a color long after they had words for other colors. It was prefaced with a historical account of blue being a last priority. Possibly because the sky and ocean were recognized as being so vast it seemed unimportant to assigned a color description to them. But that's a guess.
skipsaweirdo
Posts: 1,864
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4/5/2016 2:28:36 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/28/2016 3:42:47 PM, Welfare-Worker wrote:
At 3/28/2016 3:58:39 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Either the tribe was colorblind (which would also explain why they had no word for blue) or they didn't know what was being asked of them. If it was really the case that we needed language in order to differentiate between colors, we couldn't even learn what the colors were in the first place, as the concepts that the words are supposed to represent would be alien to us.

May I suggest a third possibility (rhetorical).

"So I went looking for a publication with a clear description of the stimuli, as well as a description of the experiment and the results. And I struck out, utterly and completely.

Looking for Himba color in Google Scholar, I find things like Rachel Adelson, "Hues and views: A cross-cultural study reveals how language shapes color perception", American Psychological Association Monitor, 2/2005; Roberson et al., "Color categories: Evidence for the cultural relativity hypothesis", Cognitive Psychology 2005; Goldstein et al., "Knowing color terms enhances recognition: Further evidence from English and Himba", Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 2008 " but none of these describe an experiment anything like the one shown in the 2011 BBC documentary, and discussed in various places since then.

The documentary names Serge Caparos as the experimenter, and we see him and hear him running the experiment and discussing the results. But as far as I can tell, searching for Serge Caparos Himba color again leaves us without any publication that describes the experiment we're looking for.

So either
1.The experiment was abandoned because it failed, or because serious design flaws turned up in the review process; or
2.The experiment was abandoned because the author(s) went on to other things, or couldn't write it up for personal reasons; or
3.The experiment has been published, but my search techniques were unable to find it.

Whatever the explanation, I submit that the BBC documentary (and the subsequent coverage) has given us a sensationalist interpretation of an undocumented experiment, presented as reliable science, without giving us any basis to trust that this interpretation is even close to true."
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu...

Looking for the source document, always a recommended course of action, a serious scholar finds none.

We do have this:
"In short, the range of stimuli that for Himba speakers comes to be categorized as "serandu" would be categorized in English as red, orange or pink. As another example, Himba children come to use one word, "zoozu," to embrace a variety of dark colors that English speakers would call dark blue, dark green, dark brown, dark purple, dark red or black."
http://www.apa.org...

This indicates the Himba do have a word for the color 'blue' - and it is "zoozu"., and it applies to other colors as well.
You must not have read your own description. Because it indicates that zoozu would be a word for dark, anything that is dark not a word for blue.
The Inuit have many words for 'snow'.
http://ontology.buffalo.edu...

My culture has no word for "hiryla", or "ontla", but this does not mean we do not recognize the difference between snow in beards, and snow on other objects.
Welfare-Worker
Posts: 1,173
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4/5/2016 12:32:24 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/5/2016 2:28:36 AM, skipsaweirdo wrote:
At 3/28/2016 3:42:47 PM, Welfare-Worker wrote:
At 3/28/2016 3:58:39 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Either the tribe was colorblind (which would also explain why they had no word for blue) or they didn't know what was being asked of them. If it was really the case that we needed language in order to differentiate between colors, we couldn't even learn what the colors were in the first place, as the concepts that the words are supposed to represent would be alien to us.

May I suggest a third possibility (rhetorical).

"So I went looking for a publication with a clear description of the stimuli, as well as a description of the experiment and the results. And I struck out, utterly and completely.

Looking for Himba color in Google Scholar, I find things like Rachel Adelson, "Hues and views: A cross-cultural study reveals how language shapes color perception", American Psychological Association Monitor, 2/2005; Roberson et al., "Color categories: Evidence for the cultural relativity hypothesis", Cognitive Psychology 2005; Goldstein et al., "Knowing color terms enhances recognition: Further evidence from English and Himba", Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 2008 " but none of these describe an experiment anything like the one shown in the 2011 BBC documentary, and discussed in various places since then.

The documentary names Serge Caparos as the experimenter, and we see him and hear him running the experiment and discussing the results. But as far as I can tell, searching for Serge Caparos Himba color again leaves us without any publication that describes the experiment we're looking for.

So either
1.The experiment was abandoned because it failed, or because serious design flaws turned up in the review process; or
2.The experiment was abandoned because the author(s) went on to other things, or couldn't write it up for personal reasons; or
3.The experiment has been published, but my search techniques were unable to find it.

Whatever the explanation, I submit that the BBC documentary (and the subsequent coverage) has given us a sensationalist interpretation of an undocumented experiment, presented as reliable science, without giving us any basis to trust that this interpretation is even close to true."
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu...

Looking for the source document, always a recommended course of action, a serious scholar finds none.

We do have this:
"In short, the range of stimuli that for Himba speakers comes to be categorized as "serandu" would be categorized in English as red, orange or pink. As another example, Himba children come to use one word, "zoozu," to embrace a variety of dark colors that English speakers would call dark blue, dark green, dark brown, dark purple, dark red or black."
http://www.apa.org...

This indicates the Himba do have a word for the color 'blue' - and it is "zoozu"., and it applies to other colors as well.
You must not have read your own description. Because it indicates that zoozu would be a word for dark, anything that is dark not a word for blue.
The Inuit have many words for 'snow'.
http://ontology.buffalo.edu...

My culture has no word for "hiryla", or "ontla", but this does not mean we do not recognize the difference between snow in beards, and snow on other objects.

Well, that point of my post is that the source document claiming what the OP's reference claims, cannot be found. This throws huge doubt on the claim.

I agree as you note I should have said "have a word for the color dark blue...and it includes other colors."
Not simply 'dark', but dark colors.
By analogy, my culture has a word for 'snow on the beard' and it includes other snow as well. We have no specific word for that kind of snow, only descriptive phrases.

It does seem we agree that not having a word for light or medium blue is not evidence it was not recognised.