Color and Cognition in MesoAmerica: Constructing Categories as Vantages

Color and Cognition in MesoAmerica: Constructing Categories as Vantages

by Robert E. MacLaury
     
 
More than 100 indigenous languages are spoken in Mexico and Central America. Each language partitions the color spectrum according to a pattern that is unique in some way. But every local system of color categories also shares characteristics with the systems of other Mesoamerican languages and of languages elsewhere in the world. This book presents the results of the

Overview

More than 100 indigenous languages are spoken in Mexico and Central America. Each language partitions the color spectrum according to a pattern that is unique in some way. But every local system of color categories also shares characteristics with the systems of other Mesoamerican languages and of languages elsewhere in the world. This book presents the results of the Mesoamerican Color Survey, which Robert E. MacLaury conducted in 1978-1981. Drawn from interviews with 900 speakers of some 116 Mesoamerican languages, the book provides a sweeping overview of the organization and semantics of color categorization in modern Mesoamerica. Extensive analysis and MacLaury's use of vantage theory reveal complex and often surprising interrelationships among the ways languages categorize colors. His findings offer valuable cross-cultural data for all students of Mesoamerica. They will also be of interest to all linguists and cognitive scientists working on theories of categorization more generally.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Though MacLaury (U. of Arizona) does not bear a name drawn from any of the 100 plus indigenous languages of Mexico and Central America, he provides an anthropologist's cross-cultural analysis of the results of his Mesoamerica Color Survey (1978-81). Color in this case refers to cognitive and semantic categories. Because such color categorization is universal, his data-based Vantage Theory should be of interest to linguists and cognitive scientists devising general theories. His modification of the prevailing Berlin-Kay theory of universal focal color order aims to accommodate both unique and related categorization characteristics of languages. Presents conceptual and material equipment, issues in ethnography, typology of relations, glossary, and language index. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780292751934
Publisher:
University of Texas Press
Publication date:
01/28/1997
Edition description:
FAC
Pages:
616
Product dimensions:
6.08(w) x 9.14(h) x 1.56(d)

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