This monograph provides, for the first time, a comprehensive historical analysis of German colour words from early beginnings to the present, based on data obtained from over one thousand texts.
Part 1 reviews previous work in colour linguistics.
Part 2 describes and documents the formation of popular colour taxonomies and specialised nomenclatures in German across many periods and fields. The textual data examined will be of relevance to cultural historians in fields as far apart as philosophy, religious symbolism, medicine, mineralogy, optics, fine art, fashion, and dyeing technology.
Part 3 — the core of the work — traces linguistic developments in systematic detail across more than twelve centuries. Special attention is given to the evolving meanings of colour terms, their connotative values, figurative extensions, morphological productivity, and lexicographical registration. New light is shed on a range of scholarly issues and controversies, in ways relevant to German lexicologists and to specialists in other languages, notably French and English.