This chapter profiles the lexicalization patterns of seven color terms retrieved from the Sinica Corpus together with their metonymic and metaphoric extensions. The purposes are to test out whether the structural and semantic complexities exhibited by the color terms accord with their stages in Berlin & Kay’s evolutionary hierarchy in that the earlier the color terms occur, the more complicated their lexicalization patterns and semantic extensions are. The findings support the hypothesis such that white and black are the richest in terms of their grammatical and semantic complexities, followed by red, yellow, green, blue and cyan, respectively. The analysis also indicates that the degrees of lexicalization correlate with semantic opaqueness.
The Rouledge Handbook of Applied Linguistics, Taylor & Francis, pp.1-15