May 30th, 2011


Hopi colors

 A few years ago I was watching a video in an anthropology class about the Hopi. According to this video, the Hopi have four colors: white, red, yellow, and blue. I find this odd since I've been reading about Berlin and Kay's theory of color development. If the Hopi have a word for blue (which I assume covers what English calls green as well as blue), shouldn't they have a fifth color, black? Or does blue also cover black as well? Black, white, red, and yellow would fit the theory. 

To me it seems rather odd that the people in the video who spoke both Hopi and English fluently would consider this fourth color "blue," not "black" or "dark" or "green." How do Berlin and Kay account for this?  Is what the Hopi translate as "blue" in English really hurting the theory or not? If we assume that what English calls black, green, and blue are all one color in Hopi. 
The video went on to say that the Hopi had breed their corn to be the four different colors. The blue variety was indeed a blueish-purple. Could it be that while Hopi would say that grass is "blue" and soot is "blue," by default the color they think when thinking about this color is that of their corn and therefore it would translate into English as blue? 
Does this invalidate the theory?
f; godfather; an offer he can't refuse

Quick Italian Help Needed!

Dear native speakers of Italian,

I'm cramming for an Italian exam right now, and I need your help. I think I got most of the grammar down pretty well, but I always have trouble writing texts. My teacher offered help, and said we could all send her texts for proofreading, but a family emergency made that impossible for me last week. The exam is tomorrow, and I'm not even sure I'm going to take it, I might just skip it and prepare for the re-sit in September instead, but I'd really like to get it done now (especially since I am prepared, I just really want an A). So here's what I need your help for: Could you please check these short texts (one, two, or even all three) for me, and correct any mistakes you find? I'll take anything you can give me, grammar mistakes, spelling (as I don't have a spellcheck for Italian on my laptop), etc. I do need it by tonight (I'm in GMT+2), though.

Thank you so much in advance!

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