Anthologica Universe Atlas / Forums / Department of Creativity / Colo(u)r!

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? Rhetorica Your Writing System Sucks
posts: 1279
, Kelatetía: Dis, Major Belt 1
How do your conlangs handle colour? I've been playing around with definitions and boundaries for Lilitika for some time, and have finally settled on this:

More info here!
? Morrígan Witch Queen of New York
posts: 303
, Marquise message
Well, I love this illustration.

Kuma-Koban is kind of a pain, because I haven't specifically worked on color terms. Here are some color terms, which are really kind of vague.
badyo-"tan, bay (of horses)"
cyē"dark color"
kʰūlon, ausom"gold"
kónk-"amber; honey coloured"
xarguno"silver, white" (the metal itself is xárgut)
alpʰó–"white, pale"

I ought to at least figure out what a typologically appropriate color scheme. It looks like Kuma-Koban would be a type 11, since they have basic colors up to brown as well as grey. I should make a chart, since the brown colors are kind of vague, and they might have terms for dark or low saturation colors generally (based entirely on glosses, that is). Only problem would be  that this might suggest a more sophisticated system than was likely to exist at the time, in a generally pastoral society. I really have no idea.
? Hālian :(
posts: 129
, Alípteza, Florida
I love that illustration too, as well as the entire system of color allusions.

I'm not entirely sure how safir would perceive color as, since they are hexachromats — being able to perceive ultraviolet and two kinds of infrared light as well as red, green, and blue — a fair chunk of their color spectrum is unfathomable to the average human.

I do know, however, that their primary colors would be "far" (actually just a bit further than near; the Z type of cone cell that detects this light has a response band of 800-1100 nm) infrared, near (Y cone, 600-900 nm) infrared, red, (yellow and/or green), blue, and ultraviolet (X cone, 175-400 nm).

(Note that the exact response bands will almost certainly change between now and the mythical time of Finalization.)
? Matrix Chronicler of the Myriad
posts: 216
, Conversational Speaker message
I haven't put a whole lot of thought into colour symbology in most of my languages. However:

In Nahakhontl, red is associated with truth, goodness, Shorragites+the speakers of Nahakhontl, Zhal's family+the good gods, plus some more usual associations like blood. Blue is considered its opposite and is associated with lies, evil, lizards, and Ashkozen+the evil god, a sort of satanic Enemy figure in Shorragite religion. The ansu - of which the Shorragites are but one culture - have red eyes and such an acute sense for body language that both ansu and humans consider it virtually impossible to lie to an ansu. This has also led to Shorragites having bad reactions to humans with blue eyes.

One side-effect of blue having such negative connotations is that the sky is thought of as turquoise, and such association extends to its goddess, Lefazop. She is also the patron of the Art of Single Combat, so duelists usually wear turquoise. She also has association with hunting in some parts of Shorrag, so hunters favour turquoise as well. Furthermore, the sea is thought of as teal, so its goddess, Shokona, is associated with that colour, as is her Art of Acting - though, actors don't usually wear it, because they must wear various costumes. But, perhaps, a famous actor at a party might wear teal. Fishers also wear teal. Zhal, the chief deity and god of truth, patron of the Art of Science, is associated with gold. Scholars thus frequently wear gold jewelry - but then, most scholars are members of the Clergy of Zhal, and so they'd be wearing gold anyway. Korri, goddess of beauty and familial and friendly love, patron of the Art of Pictures, is associated with orange, usually likened to that of a sunset. Painters, sculptors, and carvers thus frequently wear orange. Nasuatl, god of the land, patron of the Art of Writing, is associated with brown, like that of soil. Writers thus wear brown, as do farmers. Harodu, god of the wind, patron of the Art of Dance, is associated with white, so dancers wear it. Uhrkania, goddess of rain, fertility, and sexual/romantic love, patron of the Art of Song, is associated with purple. Singers wear purple, as do new lovers and newlyweds. Prostitutes as well, but then they're all members of the Clergy of Uhrkania anyway. Yarletix, god of war, patron of the very same Art, is associated with red, but his red is quite explicitly the dark red of blood spilled on the battlefield, while brighter reds are reserved for the aforementioned associations of red. Soldiers do wear red, but it's actually a brighter red, symbolizing their service to the state, which is a theocracy.
? Netharía Aléhéanivía Ketablezría
posts: 10
, Masakía, Chelvaní Doisseia
? masako la capitan
posts: 206
, Conversational Speaker message
? Hallow XIII Primordial Crab
posts: 525
, 侯 of Crows at Basel
Jalvic peoples can into glorious empire. For this reason, they only have three colour terms, except those in contact with Kangshuic mountain yak herders who know the secret of what a yellow is. the basic story. I figure the three colours in question are red/black/white but I don't actually know a lot about three-colour languages and/or the realism of such a language being used at court in megavietnamese maritime trading empire, so I have so far refrained from being any more detailed.
? Anguipes The Great Whore That Sitteth Upon Many Waters
posts: 45
, Novice Speaker message
Colour terms yay!

2L divides colours by lustre as well as hue.  This has turned out to be a Terrible IdeaTM, because it makes it difficult to express the differences on a computer screen

Like every other damn thing in 2L, there are sixteen root colour terms (under the hyponym hvr̄jt "[to possess] colour").  Colour is the Metamorphosis/Anthesis section of vocabulary.  They are properties (Metamorphosis section of the vocabulary) and therefore verbs ("to be X coloured"). 

xrj́vtwhite or silver (i.e. lustrous grey)Hypostasis
xr̄tlustrous redMetamorphosis
xj́tcopper (i.e.  lustrous orange/brown)Crisis
hvv̀jtgold (i.e.  lustrous yellow)Anthesis
hvŕvklustrous greenGenesis
hrj̀vklustrous blueNemesis
hrv̄rklustrous purpleSynthesis
hrj́rklustrous blackTelesis
hjv̀kmatte redAnalysis
hjr̄kmatte orange/brownAscesis
hjj́kmatte yellowPhysis
hr̀vʔmatte greenNoesis
hj̄vʔmatte blueGnosis
hv́rʔmatte purpleStasis
ʔvj̀rʔmatte blackHubris

? Izambri Left of the middle
posts: 959
, Duke, the Findible League
I'm cooking an article about Bredezhanian heraldry and vexillology and, as part of its fine tuning, I'm polishing up the Hellesan colors. There's an article for them here, as a series of articles about Hellesan, although it's not finished yet.
? Rhetorica Your Writing System Sucks
posts: 1279
, Last Kelatetía of Scotland
Just FYI, Izo—it's spelled "etymology" in English.
? Torco Learner of Stuff
posts: 220
, Conversational Speaker message
/me raises flag
destroi and subvert english spellyng! hispanophones unyte!
/me charges hill
? Izambri Left of the middle
posts: 959
, Duke, the Findible League
quoting Rhetorica, Last Duchess of Scotland:
Just FYI, Izo—it's spelled "etymology" in English.

I know it! I just copypasted the code form the Catalan article and didn't mind to change it because I just paid attention to the ending in ...ies.
I don't deny that, sometimes, I could write etimology without any copypasting involved, though. That one is a word I haven't successfully tamed yet.

Being said that I want to defend again (if I ever did it publicly) my preference for 'ie' as a general substitute of 'y' in English: etiemologie, ies, awaie, friendlie, etc...

Note: post updated with two funny faces.
? Nessari ?????? ?????? ????????
posts: 932
, Illúbequía, Seattle, Cascadia
Ys isn't a native English word, so that doesn't work.
? Izambri Left of the middle
posts: 959
, Duke, the Findible League
? Izambri Left of the middle
posts: 959
, Duke, the Findible League
After reading The Wine-Dark Sea: Color and Perception in the Ancient World, a short but interesting article, followed by Distinction of blue and green in various languages I've decided to expand the Hellesan chromatic system adding six new colours differing from the rest in that each one shows a range of colours in a gradation. This is inspired by the idea that some ancient cultures didn't ditinguish between blue and green or between red and brown as we do.

The new additions are:

Veli (ultimately from Madani vitl– "sunshine, sunlight") A gradation between red or brown to yellow (from lemon to gold). Middle shades are oranges and pinks.


Peure (from Sate pu-re, of unknown meaning but thought to be related to the concept of ripening) Transition from green to red with a middle step at a dark golden. In origin taken from the colours of almost ripped fruit.


Capri (from Davarian qoparis "Murex") A range of red and purple with pink and lilac-to-teal shades inbetween. Its origin is in the name given to Tyrian purple silks from Cassardia with an iridescent finish.


Tarsyent (from Fernon tarstjan "dusky") A gradation of dark blue to some clear colour (cream or pearl, or just plain white) that to Nordish peoples represented the true colour of dawn and dusk. It was later borrowed to Peran and Sarden, and it survived into Hellesan because it's a useful word to refer to the greyish shades of some animal skins (most notably that of elephants and dolphins, both sacred to Hellesans).


Eralme (from Peran erablamas, which could be translated as "aerogrue", since the word is a compound of erbalas "sky" and glamas "blue and green; grue") A gradation of blue to white. Originally a poetic word often used and presumably invented by poet Edovi to refer to "the colour of morning sky after a rainy night". This colour is a thing in Hellesan because of the Hellesan national flag (a white field with two horizontal thin strips of dark and sky blue), commonly named s'eralmatze "the eralme-d one". In nature this colour can be found, for example, in polar icebergs.


Gable (evolution of Peran glamas "blue and green", which also evolved into Hellesan glam "blue") Hardly to define from an historical point of view since it appears quite often in ancient texts but judging by the context of the sources it seems to refer to different gradations of blue, green and purple shades. It's noteworthy that Peran glamas grouped blue, green and silver. In later Sarden scientific texts the word appears as gamalos and gablos, and it seems to refer to the concept of iridescence, not so far from the original meaning.


These gradated colours were considered by Perans as normal and common in their colour system (they also had names at least for black, white, red and yellow). Besides this they also had the concept of "metallic" as another colour, not as a mere tone of any colour. The Peran metallic colours have not survived into Hellesan except for lhaurès "gold" (the colour, different from lhaur, the metal) and blansyard "metallic black" (from Peran balantsiardu "blackberry").
? Izambri Left of the middle
posts: 959
, Duke, the Findible League
Well, this is an approximation to Peran colours (the Peran civilization is the origin of the Hellesan people), with names from the time of Archaic to Old Peran.

Main Peran colours.

With doted lines we represent colours that share space with other colours.

Nitsu Intense/plain black; basically a matte black. Origin of Hellesan nitz "black".
Blantsiardu (literally "blackberry") Metallic black. It can show other colour reflections, basically blue and purple. Hellesan blansyard "metallic black", a mere shade of black.
Kadelu and airu Intense/plain white; a matte white that can include pearl and beige, for example. It can show very pale shades of other colours, not detected by Perans from a cultural point of view. Origin, respectively, of Hellesan ceu and aire, both "white", the main names for that colour.
Nisas (literally "snow") Metallic white. Hellesan nis "snow", used to mean precipitated iced water and its colour (a very intense and glossy white, a mere shade of white).
Bieliu From red to yellow with shades of pink and golden. Hellesan veli, not a colour in it's own right, but still a very popular name.
Peburu From intense green to intense red with middle shade of dark gold. Considered to be "the colour of ripening coloured fruit". Hellesan peure, not the name of a colour, but still widely used to refer to ripening fruit.
Erbalamas (literally air-bluish) From intense blue to white. Considered to be "the colour of a morning sky"; it is thought to have poetic origins, becoming a popular colour later. Hellesan eralme, still used to name the morning sky, even as a noun.
Glamas A gradation of blue, green and purple shades with metallic silver. Later used by Sarden scientific works as a synonym of iridescence or iridescent colour. Origin on Hellesan glam "blue".
Laladaras Dark golden or metallic dark yellow. The colour of gold. Hellesan lhaure "golden".
Rugaliu Metallic brown. A brownish colour with glossy shades of red, considered to be the colour of bronze and copper. Hellesan rogall, still used to refer to certain hair colours (brown with reddish highlights).
? Rhetorica Your Writing System Sucks
posts: 1279
, Kelatetía: Dis, Major Belt 1
...So what about foliage?
? Izambri Left of the middle
posts: 959
, Duke, the Findible League
If what you mean is what word Archaic and Ancient Perans used to refer to foliage the answer is... it depends. They would consider forests to be glamas, since from lon distances they are generally seen with dark shades, while at a closer look, leaves and foliage could be peburu, bieliu or glamas, depending on the shade.
Perans from the Middle Epoch had marfas, a loanword from Sarden maryphon used to specifically refer to green shades, although etymologically it means "vivid/vibrant bluish".
? Izambri Left of the middle
posts: 959
, Duke, the Findible League
And this is the preliminary chart for Nanenc colours:


Names are in Catalan:

Negreabsolut "absolute black". Pure black.
Fosca "dark" or "dusk". Deep dark grey.
Enfosquit "darkened". Very dark shades of other colours.
Blanc "white". White with pale shades of yellow.
Daurat "golden". With greenih and reddish highlights, just like metal gold.
Llimona "lemon". Intense yellow.
Sangseca "dry blood". A colour similar to dark red, Tuscan red or maroon, for example.
Foguer "like fire". Shades of red to yellow with orange and pinks. Presumably "the colour fo fire".
Terraclara "clear earth". Essentially a colour that groups all the brownish shades Nanencs had from mineral pigments (ocher, umber, manganese oxide...).
Glaucopurpuri "glaucopurpurean". Similar to Archaic-Ancient Peran glamas. Almost all the cold colours: blues, greens and purples.
? Izambri Left of the middle
posts: 959
, Duke, the Findible League
Interesting in its own, could help you people when working your conculture's colour-related stuff:


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