Lwaitel usage notes


Color terms

Due to the Lwaitel people caring about art, Lwaitel has many basic color terms:

TermColorThings traditionally considered this color
haRedRaspberries, blood
hántlwekOrangeOranges, red hair
paiYellowFall leaves, fire, lemons, sun at sunset, blond hair, gold
kíltelLight greenGrass, leaves of deciduous trees, green eyes
nginDark greenNeedles of conifers
kíluCyan, sky blueClear daytime sky, blue eyes, turquoise
húsuDark blueThe ocean, blueberries
húkyesBrown, tanSoil, wood, skin, brown eyes, brown hair
shelyúpWhitePaper, snow, gray hair
shichílGrayMost rocks, graphite
swátelBlackCoal, basalt, black hair
elseweBlackThe night, deep inside caves, inside buildings with no windows and no lights

Colors are generally used as adjectives describing an object of that color. When color terms are applied to humans, they generally refer to the color of clothing the person is currently wearing. There are also adjectives for specific hair and eye colors, which can be applied to people (the normal color terms are applied to the hair and eyes themselves). When talking about the colors themselves, e.g. to talk about one's favorite color, the color adjectives are applied to the word kaitu "color".

Two color adjectives can be used in a row to describe something that's in between two of the color terms; for instance, ha hantlwek = red-orange, shichíl húsu = bluish gray. One of the terms can be duplicated to indicate which color is dominant; e.g., ha ha hantlwek is redder, whereas ha hantlwek hantlwek is more orange. The terms iukeyl "light" and meping "dark" can be used with other color terms or by themselves to describe the shade of the color. When sheylúp and swatel are used with other color terms, it means very light or very dark shades of the color. When talking about objects with multiple colors, the adadjective pús comes before each color.

There are separate words used to describe the brightness of light vs. of objects. Lwait "light", háneng "dark", and elsewe "pitch-black" can be used with no-subject swa or locations to describe the light in the area, can be applied to light-emitting objects to indicate how much light they're producing, and can be applied to other objects to indicate how much shadow they're in. To describe the hue of light, normal color terms can be used; these can be used with no-subject swa, except that kílu when used that way usually means non-cloudy.