Colour memory and similarity judgement in isiXhosa-English bilinguals : the case of luhlaza

Parshotam, Minali Dinesh (2020-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Colour categorisation has been a well-known topic of enquiry in the cognitive sciences. There is an abundance of literature examining colour categorisation in speakers of different languages. The findings indicate that cross-linguistic variation in colour term repertoires to some extent influences the way speakers perceive colour. English and isiXhosa differ in their categorisation of colour, as isiXhosa, unlike English, does not have a lexical distinction between green and blue, but instead has the basic colour term luhlaza to refer to this colour space. The aims of the current study is, firstly, to see whether these cross-linguistic differences modulate memory accuracy and similarity judgements of the green-blue colour space and, secondly, to see whether experience with English language influences isiXhosa speakers to behave more like speakers of English on these measures. A pre-experimental study is conducted in order to obtain baseline colour data of South African English. The data collected on the colours green and blue is then used for the main experiments of the current study. The main experiments include a memory task, examining the recognition memory for the relevant colour space among the participants, and a similarity judgement task, examining perceived similarity of triads of colour stimuli belonging to same and different categories of colour. Overall, 60 participants, isiXhosa-English bilinguals and first language South African English speakers, participated in the main experiments. Findings from both the memory and the similarity judgement experiments show certain differences, but also to a greater extent, similarities between the two language groups. Additionally, the isiXhosa-English bilingual speakers’ English experience is assessed, but direct effects of English language experiential variables are not found.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Kleurkategorisering is ‘n bekende navordingsonderwerp in die kognitiewe wetenskappe. Daar is ‘n oorvloed literatuur wat kleurkategorisering in sprekers van verskillende tale ondersoek. Die bevindinge dui aan dat variasie in kleurtermrepertoires oor verskillende tale, tot ‘n seker mate, die manier waarop sprekers kleur waarneem, beïnvloed. Engels en isiXhosa verskil in hul kategorisering van kleur, aangesien isiXhosa, anders as Engels, nie ‘n leksikale onderskeid tussen groen en blou het nie, maar eerder die basiese kleurterm luhlaza het om na hierdie kleurruimte te verwys. Die doel van die huidige studie is eerstens om vas te stel of hierdie kruislinguistiese verskille die geheue-akkuraatheid en ooreenkoms-oordele van die groen-blou kleurruimte moduleer, en tweedens om vas te stel of ervaring met die Engelse taal isiXhosa-sprekers beïnvloed om meer soos Engelssprekendes op te tree in hierdie metings. 'n Pre-eksperimentele studie word uitgevoer om die basislyn-kleurdata van Suid-Afrikaanse Engels te verkry. Die data wat oor die kleure groen en blou versamel is, word dan gebruik vir die hoofeksperimente van die huidige studie. Die hoofeksperimente sluit 'n geheue-taak in, wat die herkenningsgeheue vir die betrokke kleurruimte onder die deelnemers ondersoek, en 'n ooreenkomsbeoordelingstaak, wat die deelnemer-waargeneemde ooreenkomste van drie groepe kleurstimuli wat aan dieselfde en verskillende kleurkategorieë behoort, ondersoek. Altesaam het 60 deelnemers, isiXhosa-Engelse tweetaliges en eerste taal Suid-Afrikaanse Engelssprekendes, deelgeneem aan die hoofeksperimente. Bevindinge uit beide die geheue- en die ooreenkoms-oordeelstake toon sekere verskille, maar ook in 'n groter mate, ooreenkomste tussen die twee taalgroepe. Verder word die Engelse ervaring van die isiXhosa-Engelse tweetalige sprekers getoets, maar direkte gevolge van Engelse taal-ervaringsveranderlikes word nie gevind nie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/108165
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