Quantitative subjective analysis of color tone perception and description by native speakers of Japanese
Date: 18-22 January 2004
Abstract: Three sets of color tone stimuli were created for three hues, red, green and blue, by varying just two parameters, saturation and value. Two methods were employed to study how native speakers of Japanese use adjectives to describe differences in their perceptions of color tones. A preliminary elicitation employed the methods of selection description, in which Japanese adjectives meaning pale, bright, vivid, strong, dull and dark constituted a high proportion of responses for 56 Japanese native speakers. These adjectives were employed in a triadic comparison method for the same stimuli, and the adjectives were used in a consistent manner for all three hues. Of particular interest were two pairs of adjective contrasts, first, vivid vs. dull, described variation along the axis connecting the tone at both highest saturation and highest value with the tone at both lower saturation and lower value. The second adjective contrast, bright vs. strong, was practically orthogonal to the first. To further document the consensual use of these pairs of adjectives in describing variation of color tone, two additional experiments were executed to determine the boundary color tones at which adjective labels switch from bright to strong and from vivid to dull.