Subfocal Color Categorization and Naming: The Role of Exposure to Language and Professional Experience
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The current state of the debate on the linguistic factors in color perception and categorization is reviewed. Developmental and learning studies were hitherto almost ignored in this debate. A simple experiment is reported in which 20 Academy of Fine Arts, Faculty of Painting students' performance in color discrimination and naming tasks was compared to the performance of 20 Technical University students. Subfocal colors (different hues of red and blue) were used. While there was no difference in overall discrimination ability, AFA students had a much richer and specialized color vocabulary. Both groups also applied different strategies of discrimination and naming. However, naming system in neither group was coherent. This suggests that naming played primarily the role of markers for control processes rather than names for categories. It is concluded that up-to-date debate is too simplified and a complex model of interrelations between perceptual categorization and naming framed in the developmental context is needed rather than the search for a simple answer 'language', 'environment', or 'perceptual universals'.
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