- 人間文化研究 (ISSN:21889031)
- no.3, pp.55-83, 2015-10-27
In this article we studied color terms in loanwords in Japanese, and analyzed them using Corpus Data. We focused on ten color terms of English origin, using the full-text retrieval system "Himawari" of the internet library Aozora Bunko (12023 works, accessed October 1, 2014) for language resources, and observed examples from the Meiji period to the early Showa period. The color terms studied were as follows : PINKU (pink), GURIIN (green), BURUU (blue), GUREE (gray), BEEJU (beige), BURAUN (brown), REDDO (red), IEROO (yellow), HOWAITO (white), and BURAKKU (black). Following the study, the terms were classified into two categories. (a) Those having both an indicatory function in the context of multiple choice, and a descriptive function to describe attributes of things. They can be used independently but not in compound form. PINKU (pink), GURIIN (green), BURUU (blue), GUREE (gray), and BEEJU (beige) belong to this group. (b) Those having only the indicatory function and no descriptive function. They are always used in compound form. BURAUN (brown), REDDO (red), IEROO (yellow), HOWAITO (white), and BURAKKU (black) belong to this group. It may be said that words of group (a) are more familiar in Japanese than those of group (b), in particular PINKU and GURIIN as they describe the color of natural objects. In group (b), the reason why REDDO (red), HOWAITO (white), and BURAKKU (black) have low familiarity in Japanese is that Japanese original color terms AKA (red), SHIRO (white), and KURO (black) constitute extremely basic and fundamental vocabulary in Japanese, and it is likely that there was no place for words of foreign origin having similar meaning.