Chinese GRUE: On the original meaning and evolution of qing

Victoria Bogushevskaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


One of the peculiarities of Chinese colour vocabulary is that the composite qing ?category not only denotes green-blue continuum, but also extends into the macro-black area of a colour space. Qing is one of the five canonical colours in China. Although it has a binary word formation function - as a radical in derived colour lexemes in wenyan and as a morpheme in compounds in Modern Standard Mandarin - it is not a basic colour term in contemporary Chinese, there are separate psychologically salient terms for 'green', 'blue' and 'black'. The paper aims to provide semantic analysis of all the existing meanings of the polysemantic qing, determines the sequence of their emergence and puts forward a hypothesis about the reasons for their syncretism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-76
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Colour categorisation
  • Colour naming
  • Grue
  • Macro-category
  • Qing


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