Innovations in Semitic color term systems
The article explores the origins of Semitic color terms for yellow, green, and blue. These fundamental color categories are missing from the reconstructed proto-Semitic basic color term system, but their designations were added into basic color term systems of many daughter languages. This chapter focuses on derivations from designations of “referent objects” (objects typically characterized by a certain color and serving as referents for the designation of this color). Referent objects are further classified into natural objects (wax for yellow; vegetation, grass, or leaf for green; sky for blue) and dyes (saffron and turmeric for yellow; kohl and indigo, or indigo-colored objects for blue; the chapter also considers ink as a source for designations of blue-with-green, violet, or black).