Thirty native Russian individuals (Muscovites) volunteered for the experiment. They were
aged between 20 and 45 years, and had no formal training in color. All were screened for
red-green abnormalities using the Rabkin Pseudoisochromatic Plates. The experiment was
conducted with each participant individually.
Procedure
The color samples of the NCS atlas were presented under standard daylight illumination.
For each color term, the focal color was estimated. When presented with the color term,
the individual was requested to indicate in the atlas page the only sample that would best
represent the term. If in the person’s view, none of the samples adequately represented the
color name, or the meaning of the name was unknown, no response was recorded.
The order of presentation of color names was yielded by an experimenter in the
following steps. First, according to the hue of the NCS atlas page, one of the eight Russian
chromatic basic color terms was named: krasnyj ‘red,’ oranževyj ‘orange,’ and so
on. Second, color-term variants with the achromatic modifiers were named. Next, compound
chromatic terms were presented, comprising two basic color names (or more, if a participant insisted), such as oranževato-krasnyj ‘orangish-red’ or žėlto-zelėnyj ‘yellowgreen.’
(In Russian, the suffix -ato in an adjective indicates lower salience of the denoted
quality.) Then followed the names comprising basic chromatic and achromatic components,
such as rozovato-belyj ‘pinkish-white,’ krasnovato-ˇcėrnyj ‘reddish-black,’ rozovatoseryj
‘pinkish-gray’; and finally, frequent non-basic names, such as malinovyj ‘raspberry,’
or sirenevyj ‘lilac.’