A Gaelic Way of Seeing

Meg Bateman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In Gaelic, colour did not have a fixed, objective value but was mutable, part of a process, defined in relative terms by other colours in the domain and moving back and forth along the scales of hue, saturation and shininess. Because of this, it would not be not a helpful mode of enquiry to ask a native-speaker to comment on coloured chips devoid of context: the domain is all-important. There may be a dichotomy to be made between the descriptive function of colour terminology in modern languages and its evaluative and interpretive function in older cultures: pattern, shininess and saturation reflect cultural aspiration. If we can learn to see the connections between differently-hued, but similarly reflective and saturated colour-terms across domains, we are beginning to see through a Gaelic lens.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAn Linne
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Jon Schueler Centenary Conference held at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, June 2016
EditorsLindsay Blair
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2018


  • Jon Schueler
  • Gaelic colour scheme


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