By Athalya Brenner
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Extra info for Colour Terms in the Old Testament
5 In the absence of information gleaned directly from the speech community, the picture the texts convey may be distorted and incomplete: our sources are limited, and the motivation for preserving them was not influenced by linguistic considerations. 6 Lastly, it must be remembered that Berlin and Kay investigated synchronic 42 BIBLICAL COLOUR TERMS linguistic states, whereas the biblical material requires a judicious mixture of synchronistic, diachronistic, and panchronistic approaches. To summarize: a colour term will be categorized as primary when, upon analysis of its occurrences, it is found to: a.
The relevant features of the participants: persons, personalities. (i) Their verbal actions (ii) Their non-verbal actions. B. The relevant objects. C. The effects of the verbal actions. y the result is as follows: A. The participants are a lover and his beloved; the general background, a shepherd's life? or, perhaps, city life (the many luxuries cited)? (i) (ii) B. The speaker describes the head and hair of his beloved, No non-verbal action is reported. T - is described in terms of colour, but the reference does not make 19 immediate sense, for no natural hair is purple-coloured.
From the point of view of versatility and applicability it is associated only with 'hair'. Its etymological relationship with 3MT is far from proven; 12 therefore, the phonetic similarity cannot be a guide for defining the actual (extra-linguistic) reference of the term on etymological grounds. On the other hand, various arguments can be cited in favour of including 3fl^ in the primary set of colour terms of the last two stages of biblical Hebrew. While it is applicable to '(human) hair' only, it stands in opposition to - and in its situational context can be substituted for - either synchronic primary terms associated with hair (IHW, vv.
Colour Terms in the Old Testament by Athalya Brenner