Sunday, May 6, 2007


Russian speakers get the blues

‘The language you speak can affect how you see the world, a new study of colour perception indicates. Native speakers of Russian – which lacks a single word for “blue” – discriminated between light and dark blues differently from their English-speaking counterparts, researchers found.

The Russian language makes an obligatory distinction between light blue, pronounced “goluboy”, and dark blue, pronounced “siniy”. Jonathan Winawer at MIT in the US and colleagues set out to determine whether this linguistic distinction influences colour perception. [..]

Russian speakers, by comparison, were 10% faster at distinguishing between light (goluboy) blues and dark (siniy) blues than at discriminating between blues within the same shade category.’

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