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New insights into the evolution of colour terms or an effect of saturation?

Through their thorough investigation of the Hadza, a non-industrialized language community in Tanzania, Lindsey and colleagues (2015) developed a new approach to understand the evolution of colour terms. In the present commentary I discuss the possibility that some of their results might be explained by the lacking control of saturation of their colour stimuli. The saturation of colours plays an important, yet widely neglected role in colour naming. The additional analyses presented here suggest that the results on Hadzane colour naming could be due to variations in saturation in the stimulus set rather than being evidence for universal constraints on colour term evolution.



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