LINGUIST List 15.752

Tue Mar 2 2004

Qs: Color Terms/L2 Acquisition;Online Writing Style

Editor for this issue: Naomi Fox <>

We'd like to remind readers that the responses to queries are usually best posted to the individual asking the question. That individual is then strongly encouraged to post a summary to the list. This policy was instituted to help control the huge volume of mail on LINGUIST; so we would appreciate your cooperating with it whenever it seems appropriate. In addition to posting a summary, we'd like to remind people that it is usually a good idea to personally thank those individuals who have taken the trouble to respond to the query. To post to LINGUIST, use our convenient web form at


  1. Steven Schaufele, Berlin & Kay & ESL for children
  2. jenny goh, about writing styles in the electronic world

Message 1: Berlin & Kay & ESL for children

Date: Mon, 1 Mar 2004 12:12:59 +0800
From: Steven Schaufele <>
Subject: Berlin & Kay & ESL for children

Dear Colleagues,

In my Intro to General Linguistics course the other day, we were discussing
the Berlin & Kay hierarchy of colour terms, and one of my students mentioned
an interesting experience. She has a part-time job teaching English to
young (pre-school) children here in Taipei, and she's noticed -- repeatedly,
she says -- that it's easier for them to learn the words `black', `white',
and `red' than words like `purple', `gray', or `brown'. Noticing that the
first three words refer to concepts high on the Berlin & Kay hierarchy --
and therefore, hypothetically, of nearly universal significance -- while the
second group occur quite low on the hierarchy, she wondered if there might
be some connection between her experience and the facts upon which Berlin &
Kay's hierarchy was originally based.

(Be it noted here that Chinese recognizes 10 of Berlin & Kay's 11 `basic'
colours; the one that English has that Chinese doesn't have is pink.)

Has anybody else had a similar experience in foreign-language teaching --
found that words referring to the first few items on the Berlin-Kay
hierarchy are easier for (especially young) learners to master than those
farther down the list? And has any research been done on possible
correlations between 2LA (or 1LA, for that matter) and the Berlin-Kay
hierarchy? If there's sufficient interest, i'll post a summary of


Steven Schaufele (Ph.D.)
Assoc. Prof. (Linguistics)
English Dept., Soochow University
Waishuanghsi Campus
Shihlin District
Taipei 11102, Taiwan
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 2: about writing styles in the electronic world

Date: Mon, 1 Mar 2004 07:05:58 -0500 (EST)
From: jenny goh <>
Subject: about writing styles in the electronic world

Dear all,

I'm Jenny, an English language research student at the National
University of Singapore. For my thesis, I am currently dwelling on the
differences in writing styles between the online classifieds of both
adults and teenagers seeking for penpals.

Currently, i am facing great difficulty with situating my research
study in this field as i can't seem to locate many journal articles
that have studied on adult and adolescent writing styles. Also, i
would like to get hold of articles that focuses on communication
within the electronic world, especially if it isn't an analysis about

hence, i was wondering if anyone can point me to useful journal
articles or books and if possible, send me the articles via my email

thanks very much for your help and time:)

Subject-Language: English; Code: ENG 
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue