In the theoretical part, some methodological principles of application of quantitative methodology in linguistics of culture are presented. In the empirical part, frequencies of basic colour terms are analyzed in a multilingual corpus, representing ten Indo-European languages (Czech, English, French, Italian, Polish, Russian, Rumanian, Slovak, Spanish and Ukrainian). When ordered according to the frequency of the corresponding lexemes, colours appear in every corpus (language) in the same order (positive result of Spearman's rank correlation test). This order resembles the order displayed in the chronological-evolutionary scheme of Berlin and Kay. More sensitive statistical tests reveal, however, that cross-linguistic distributions of frequencies in the lexical field of colours in different languages are not statistically independent. This corroborates the hypothesis of a moderate relativism in the linguistic coding of colours.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.