From green to turquoise: exploring age and socioeconomic status in the acquisition of color terms

Scott, Molly E. and Kanero, Junko and Saji, Noburo and Chen, Yu and Imai, Mutsumi and Golinkoff, Roberta M. and Hirsh-Pasek, Kathy (2023) From green to turquoise: exploring age and socioeconomic status in the acquisition of color terms. First Language, 43 (1). pp. 3-21. ISSN 0142-7237 (Print) 1740-2344 (Online)

This is the latest version of this item.

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)


Previous research demonstrates that children delineate more nuanced color boundaries with increased exposure to their native language. As socioeconomic status (SES) is known to correlate with differences in the amount of language input children receive, this study attempts to extend previous research by asking how both age (age 3 vs 5) and SES (under-resourced vs advantaged) might impact color name acquisition of preschool children. The results confirm the findings of previous research, showing that older children labeled the color continuum more accurately than did younger participants. In addition, we found that while SES did not make a difference in how children labeled the continuum using basic color terms (e.g. blue), basic color terms with achromatic modifiers (e.g. light blue), and compound terms (e.g. blueish-green), 5-year-olds from more advantaged economic environments used significantly more non-basic color terms (e.g. turquoise) compared to their counterparts from under-resourced environments. We suggest that, as children hear more non-basic terms, these world-to-word mappings become solidified, and exposure to such labels may contribute to the timing of when children can map those terms to the color continuum.
Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Category learning; color words; language acquisition; socioeconomic status
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Junko Kanero
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2023 13:36
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2023 13:36

Available Versions of this Item

Actions (login required)

View Item
View Item