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  • If I showed you this paint chip and asked you to tell me what color it is, what would you say?

    如果我給你看這一張油漆色票並問你它是什麼顏色,你的回答是什麼?

  • How about this one?

    這張呢?

  • And this one?

    還有這張呢?

  • You probably said blue, purple, and brownbut if your native language is Wobé fromte d’Ivoire, you probably would have used one word for all three.

    你可能會說它們分別是藍色、紫色和咖啡色,但如果你的母語是象牙海岸的 Wobé 語,你大概只會用一個詞來稱這三種顏色。

  • That's because not all languages have the same number of basic color categories.

    因為並不是所有的語言對於顏色的分類都一樣

  • In English, we have 11.

    英語裡有十一類

  • Russian has 12, but some languages, like Wobé, only have 3.

    俄羅斯有十二種,但有些語言像是Wobé 就只有三類

  • And researchers have found that if a language only has 3 or 4 basic colors, they can usually.

    研究者發現如果某一種語言只有三或四類的顏色分類,他們通常能

  • Predict what those will be.

    預測是哪幾種顏色

  • So how do they do it?

    他們是怎麼知道的?

  • As you would expect, different languages have different words for colors.

    如你猜測,不同語言形容顏色的詞彙不同。

  • But what interests researchers isn't those simple translations, it's the question of...

    但研究者有興趣的並不是簡單的翻譯問題,而是......

  • Which colors get names at all.

    哪些顏色應該被命名。

  • Because as much as we think of colors in categories, the truth is that color is a spectrum.

    因為儘管我們以為顏色可以分類,顏色其實就像光譜。

  • It's not obvious why we should have a basic color term for this color, but not this one.

    我們給某一個顏色一個名稱,而非另一個顏色,原因並不顯著。

  • And until the 1960s it was widely believed by anthropologists that cultures would just chose from the spectrum randomly.

    直到1960年代,人類學家普遍認為的顏色的命名是各文化在顏色光譜間隨機挑選。

  • But In 1969, two Berkeley researchers, Paul Kay and Brent Berlin, published a book challenging...

    但1969年,兩位柏克萊的研究者 Paul Kay 和 Brent Berlin出版了一本書質疑了......

  • That assumption.

    這個假設。

  • They had asked 20 people who spoke different languages to look at these 330 color chips.

    他們請二十位不同母語人士看以下這330種色卡。

  • And categorize each of them by their basic color term.

    然後請他們將所看到的顏色用基本色分類。

  • And they found hints of an universal pattern: If a language had six basic color words, they...

    他們發現了一個通則:如果母語人士的語言中有六種基本顏色的詞彙......

  • Were always for black (or dark), white (or light), red, green, yellow, and blue.

    那就會包括黑(深)、白(淺)、紅、綠、黃和藍色。

  • If it had four terms, they were for black, white, red, and then either green or yellow.

    如果語言裡有四種詞彙,那就會包括黑、白、紅,還有一個是綠或黃。

  • If it had only three, they were always for black, white, and red.

    如果語言裡只有三種詞彙,那就會包括黑、白、紅。

  • It suggested that as languages develop, they create color names in a certain order.

    研究顯示隨著語言的發展,創造的顏色名稱有一定的順序。

  • First black and white, then red, then green and yellow, then blue, then others like brown...

    先是黑和白,然後是紅色,再來是綠或黃,接著是藍色和其他顏色,像是咖啡色......

  • Purple, pink, orange, and gray.

    紫色、粉紅色、橙色和灰色。

  • The theory was revolutionary.

    此為革命性的理論。

  • [music change]

    [音樂改變]

  • They weren't the first researchers interested in the question of how we name colors.

    他們並非第一個對於顏色命名有興趣的研究團隊。

  • In 1858, William Gladstonewho would later become a four-term British Prime Minister.

    1858年,William Gladstone,也是後來英國連任四屆的首相......

  • Published a book on the ancient Greek works of Homer.

    出版了一本有關於希臘詩人荷馬的書。

  • He was struck by the fact that there weren't many colors at all in the text, and when there...

    令他驚訝的是,史籍裡沒有太多關於顏色的詞彙,而形容某種顏色時......

  • Were, Homer would use the same word for "colours which, according to us, are essentially different.".

    荷馬用同樣的詞彙來形容「現在我們認為本質上不相同的顏色」。

  • He used the same word for purple to describe blood, a dark cloud, a wave, and a rainbow.

    他用代表紫色的單字來形容血液、烏雲、海浪和彩虹。

  • And he referred to the sea as wine-looking.

    而他用類似紅酒來形容大海。

  • Gladstone didn't find any references to blue or orange at all.

    Gladstone 沒有發現任何提到藍色或橙色的文字。

  • Some researchers took this and other ancient writings to wrongly speculate that earlier societies were colorblind.

    一些研究者根據這篇文章和其他古代著作錯誤地推測古代人有色盲的問題。

  • Later in the 19th century, an anthropologist named W.H.R.Rivers...

    到了十九世紀,另一位名為 W.H.R.Rivers 的人類學家......

  • Went on an expedition to Papua New Guinea, where he found that some tribes...

    到巴布亞新幾內亞內探險,發現有些民族......

  • Only had words for red, white and black; while others had additional words for blue and green.

    只有代表紅色、白色和黑色的單字,而其他民族則另有代表藍色和綠色的詞彙。

  • "An expedition to investigate the cultures on a remote group of islands in the Torres Straits.

    「有考察團到與世隔絶的托雷斯海峡群島上做文化的調查。

  • Between Australia and New Guinea.

    托雷斯海峡介於澳洲和新幾內亞內之間。

  • His brief was to investigate the mental characteristics of the islanders."

    他的任務是考察島民的心智素質。」

  • He claims that the number of color terms in a population was related to their "intellectual and cultural development".

    他指出人口中描述顏色的詞彙數量和他們的「智力和文化發展」有關。

  • And he used his findings to claim that Papuans were less physically evolved than Europeans.

    然後他用研究發現來主張巴布亞新幾內亞內人與歐洲人相比,身體結構較不進化。

  • Berlin and Kay didn't make those racist claims, but their color hierarchy attracted a lot of criticism.

    Berlin 和 Kay 並未提出這種具有種族歧視的論點,但他們的顏色層級的理論引來不少批評。

  • For one thing, critics pointed out that the study used a small sample size — 20 people, all of whom were bilingual English speakers, not monolingual native speakers.

    其一,批評者指稱該研究的樣本數太少——只有二十人,全都是會說英語的雙語人士,並非只會單一母語的人。

  • And almost all of the languages were from industrialized societieshardly the best portrait of the entire world.

    研究對象的母語文化都是工業社會,這絕對不是全球最佳寫照。

  • But it also had to do with defining what a "basic color term" is.

    但對於顏色基本詞彙的定義也影響研究結果。

  • In the Yele language in Papua New Guinea, for example, there are only basic color terms...

    例如,巴布亞新幾內亞的耶里多涅語,顏色的基本的詞彙只有......

  • For black, white, and red.

    黑、白和紅。

  • But there's a broad vocabulary of everyday objectslike the sky, ashes, and...

    但對於一般事物的形容詞彙很多,像是天空、塵土和......

  • Tree sap, that are used as color comparisons that cover almost all English color words.

    樹木汁液,這些詞彙會被用來描述顏色的差異,涵蓋幾乎所有的英語顏色詞彙。

  • There are also languages like Hanunó'o from the Phillippines, where a word can communicate...

    也有像菲律賓群島上的古爪哇語,可用一個字詞來描述......

  • Both color and a physical feeling.

    顏色和某種感覺。

  • They have four basic terms to describe colorbut they're on a spectrum of light vs. dark...

    該語中有四個用來形容顏色的基本詞彙,但它們的依據是色光譜上的深淺......

  • Strength vs. weakness, and wetness vs. dryness.

    強弱、乾濕。

  • Those kinds of languages don't fit neatly into a color chip identification test.

    這種語言的詞彙並不完全符合一般色卡測試。

  • But by the late 1970s, Berlin and Kay had a response for the critics.

    但到了1970年代晚期,Berlin 和 Kay 對批評者做出了回應。

  • They called it the World Color Survey.

    他們稱其為世界顏色調查。

  • They conducted the same labeling test on over 2,600 native speakers of 110 unwritten languages.

    他們對超過二千六百位母語為110種非書寫語言的人做同樣的調查。

  • From nonindustrialized societies.

    其背景為非工業社會。

  • They found that with some tweaks, the color hierarchy still checked out.

    他們發現微調之後,顏色層級的理論同樣成立。

  • Eighty-three percent of the languages fit into the hierarchy.

    百分之八十三的語言符合顏色層級定律。

  • And when they averaged the centerpoint of where each speaker labeled each of their language's colors, they wound up with a sort of heat map.

    取得每一位研究對象對顏色標示的平均中間值後,他們得到類似熱度圖的圖層。

  • Those clusters matched pretty closely to the English speakers' averages, which are labeled here.

    圖中的密集區域非常接近英語使用者的平均——也就是現在圖上的標記。

  • Here's how Paul Kay puts it: "It...it just turns out that most languages make...

    Paul Kay 是這麼說的:「結果大多數的語言都會......

  • Cuts in the same place.

    在同樣的地方做區隔。

  • Some languages make fewer cuts than others".

    有些語言的分類較其他語言少」。

  • So these color stages are widespread throughout the worldbut why?

    所以顏色階段在世界上是普遍性的,但這是為什麼?

  • Why would a word for red come before a word for blue?

    為什麼先有紅色才有藍色?

  • Some have speculated that the stages correspond to the salience of the color in the natural...

    有些人臆測這些階段與自然環境中顏色的顯著性......

  • Environment.

    相對應。

  • Red is in blood and in dirt.

    血液和土壤中都有紅色。

  • Blue, on the other hand, was fairly scarce before manufacturing.

    然而,藍色在工業製造前很少見。

  • Recently cognitive science researchers have explored this question by running computer...

    近日,認知科學研究者開始用電腦來探索這個問題。

  • Simulations of how language evolves through conversations between people.

    利用電腦模擬語言如何隨著人類之間的溝通演變。

  • The simulations presented artificial agents with multiple colors at a time, and through...

    電腦模擬透過對人工智慧同時顯示多種顏色,並透過......

  • A series of simple negotiations, those agents developed shared labels for the different colors.

    一連串的簡單試驗,電腦開發出不同顏色的共同標記。

  • And the order in which those labels emerged?

    這些顏色標記出現的順序為何呢?

  • First, reddish tones, then green and yellow, then blue, then orange.

    首先出現的是紅色調,其次是綠色和黃色,再來是藍色,再來橙色。

  • It matched the original stages pretty closely.

    這結果和原有的順序相當接近。

  • And it suggests that there's something about the colors themselves that leads to this hierarchy.

    這表示顏色本身的特質導致了這種層級分布。

  • Red is fundamentally more distinct than the other colors.

    紅色基本上就比其他顏色突出。

  • So what does all this mean?

    這是什麼意思呢?

  • Why does it matter?

    為什麼重要呢?

  • Well, it tells us that despite our many differences across cultures and societies ... there is...

    至少,這告訴我們儘管不同文化及社會存在著差異.

  • Something universal about how humans try to make sense of the world.

    人類試圖理解世界的方式還是有一些共通性。

If I showed you this paint chip and asked you to tell me what color it is, what would you say?

如果我給你看這一張油漆色票並問你它是什麼顏色,你的回答是什麼?

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A2 初級 中文 美國腔 Vox 顏色 詞彙 語言 藍色 研究

不同語言中的顏色 (The surprising pattern behind color names around the world)

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    Kristi Yang 發佈於 2017 年 07 月 29 日
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