Semantic features of colour perception in chinese and english on the example of white, black and red colours

Author(s):  S.Y. Karpenko, candidate of Sciences, no, Branch of the Far Eastern Federal University in Ussuriysk, Ussuryisk, Russia, karpenko_ne@mail.ru

O.P. Shevchuk, candidate of Sciences, no, Branch of the Far Eastern Federal University in Ussuriysk, Ussuryisk, Russia, kitaist.uspi@mail.ru

Issue:  Volume 38, № 4

Rubric:  Linguistics

Annotation:  The study of the colour-designating vocabulary, as a nationally specific fragment of the picture of the world, has not lost its relevance for many decades. Of particular interest are comparative studies of this layer of vocabulary on the material of different structural languages. A comparative analysis of the colour semantics of 白, 黑, 红 in Chinese and “white”, “black”, “red” in English based on their vocabulary definitions is first conducted in the article. The colour words “white”, “black” and “red” arise in any language earlier than others and they are associated, first of all, with the images of the surrounding world - light, darkness and fire. The latter is similar for different cultures. At the same time, a large number of extralinguistic factors affect the appearance of differences in the semantic structure of colour-designating adjectives, including on the axis of opposites, as it happened in Chinese. The results of the study presented in the article give an opportunity to trace a number of features of colour perception in Chinese and English linguistic cultures. All revealed meanings are supported by illustrative material at the level of complex words, phrases and phraseological expressions. This article can serve as a basis for further research on the semantic features of the colour terms which can be considered already on the basis of linguistic discourse

Keywords:  colour designating adjectives, colour perception in Chinese и English, linguistic culture, word meaning, semantic features.

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