The Semantics of “Black” in Chinese, English, and German: A Colexficational Analysis

  •  Yuer Ma    
  •  Lincai Kuang    


Color term is an abstract concept in human language, which has rich semantic meanings. And people’s understanding of color terms also reflects their ways of thinking. This paper takes the color term “black” as the research object trying to explore the linguistic and cognitive commonality hidden behind the color terms from the perspective of typology. Through the corpora collected from English, German, and Chinese, and combining the colexficational network from CLICS3, the different semantic meanings of the color term “black” are summarized to draw a semantic map. It is found that the semantic meanings of the color term “black” are organized around the two main nodes of “black color” and “darkness”, and then such abstract meanings as “unawareness” and “concealed” are derived. The result shows that the evolution of the semantic meanings of color terms is closely related to human cognition.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1923-869X
  • ISSN(Online): 1923-8703
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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