LINGUIST List 9.95

Wed Jan 21 1998

Sum: Red and Yellow

Editor for this issue: Elaine Halleck <elainelinguistlist.org>


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  1. Hiroaki Tanaka, Summary: red and yellow

Message 1: Summary: red and yellow

Date: Wed, 21 Jan 1998 13:35:22 +0900
From: Hiroaki Tanaka <hiro-tias.tokushima-u.ac.jp>
Subject: Summary: red and yellow

Dear Linguists,
 A month and a half ago, I posted a query on this list concerning the
images of the color "red" and "yellow". These words are the theme of my
undergraduate students in her graduation paper.

 Her original questions are the following:
 When you hear the word $B!H(Jred", what do you 
imagine/associate? Please choose the appropriate words(the 
words you can think up of) among the following words? Please 
check * mark in the brackets. If you can think up of something 
other than the words listed below. 
 pure completely%absolutely sensational the sun deficit 
 communism danger stop 
 happy good luck anger old and new drug 
 fire 

 31 people responded to her query. The results are the following:
 pure (1 person) completely%absolutely (2 people)
 sensational (13) the sun (6) deficit (13)
 communism (26) danger (27) stop (25)
 happy (6) good luck (3) anger (23)
 old and new (0) drug (1) fire (23)


 Other words which have images of "red."

 native American people (4) 
 Christmas (3)
 blood (8) 
 

 embarrassment (6) $B"*(Jthis meaning comes from the color of 
the face, in which case people turn red when they are 
embarrassed.

 sunrise/sunset (3) 

 words which represent acuteness,fight.
 passion (5) hot (6) war (2)
 intensity (1) argumentative (1) incitement (1)
 confrontational (1) belligerence (1) impetuosity (1)

- ------------------------------------------
About "yellow", theoriginal query was the following:
 When you hear the word $B!H(Jyellow", what do you imagine/associate?
Please choose the appropriate words(the words you can think up of) among
the following words? Please check * mark in the brackets. If you can think
up of something other than the words listed below. 
 inexperienced attention a star the moon fire 
 cowardice sensational boring the sun 
 old age

The result:
 inexperienced (1) attention (4) a star (8) the moon (3)
 fire (8) cowardice (19) sensational (3) boring (0)
 the sun (25) old age (4)

 Other words expressing the image of "yellow."
 happy (4) old and discolored (4)
 caution (5) East Asian (3)
 

 These are some responses in which some of the respondeants
 sent comments about "yellow":

 Many Americans also associate yellow with welcomehome of a 
friend or family member because of the song "Tie a yellow ribbon 
round the old oak tree" but because I$B!-(Jm also aware that the 
yellow ribbon was formerly used by merried prostitutes who did so 
to indicate their husband wasn't home. I'm jaded on this custom.

 I guess I associate the color yellow with laundry detergent 
commercials which frequently display this color as a selling tool 
and reinforce its meaning with "clean" and also "feminine" 
because of the traditional idea that women clean, not men, which 
is also reinforced in these commercials.
 
 I'm interested you included "inexperienced" in your list. For 
me the color associated with inexperience is green. (Green also 
implies envy,money,freshness,environment-friendliness (Green 
Party), and a bunch of other things) 
 
 The Results of questionnaires, people imagine/associate 
cawadise and the sun overwhelming, when they hear yellow. 
There are the image comes from yellow was used coincidence like 
comments sending out. 

- -----------------------------------------------

The final question was about the color of the sun and the moon. 
 I$B!-(Jd like to ask you the color of the sun. What do you think is 
the color of sun and moon in English?
 
 The results of this questionnairy are:
 
 Color of the sun yellow 18
 golden 2
 yellow or gold 2
 red-orange 2
 orange-yellow 1
 orange 1
 The followings are some the comments:
 The sun is yellow (look at any US kindergarten class's
pictures big circle or sometimes portion of a circle placed in a 
corner with a bluestripe for sky across the top of a "landscape" 
oriented rectangle)

 Typically, the sun is yellow, but red at sunrise and sunset. Yet 
when I hear "red" I don$B!-(Jt associate it with the sun, even the 
rising/setting sun.
- --------------------------------------------
Interestingly, Japanese use "red" as the color of the sun, not
"yellow" or "silver."
- ----------------------------------------------

 
Color of the moon white 13
 silver(y) 4
 white or silver 3
 pallid 
 cream
 yellow 
 white or pearly 1
 grayish white
 gray white
 white or cream

- -----------------------------------------

 Thank you very much on behalf of my students. She is writing 
her paper very earnestly right now.


Hiroaki Tanaka

Associate Professor
Faculty of Integrated Arts and Sciences
Tokushima University, Japan
 
1-1, Minamijousanjioma,
Tokushima, 770-8052,
Japan

phone & fax: +81 886 56 7125
e-mail: hiro-tias.tokushima-u.ac.jp
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