Bilingualism and Psychology of Colors


  • Adebimpe Adegbite Syracuse University


Bilingualism, Color System, Ethnolinguistic Vitality Theory, Symbols, Language Attitude


The reality of humans spans beyond spoken language into varieties of extra linguistic avenues through which they express themselves. In other words, just like humans are able to express their feelings and attitude through words, the same can be expressed through symbols such as colors, clothing, pictures, and inscriptions. Color system is a general concept across cultures even though distinction through names and ascribed meaning(s) to each color vary per culture. This research investigated the strong statements about identity and attitude that bilinguals can make through their choice of colors depending on how conducive they find their linguistic community. Comparison was made between Chinese-English bilinguals in the US and Yoruba-English Bilinguals in Nigeria. The study revealed that colors are indeed a universal concept and can be used to express not only explicit information, but also implicit information such as attitude and perspectives of individuals. The study concludes that language attitude can be largely presumed upon cognitive perception of a language based on influencing factors, and that Ethnolinguistic Vitality Theory of sociolinguistic is very much applicable to beyond ordinary spoken utterance analysis of language.


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How to Cite

Adegbite, A. (2019). Bilingualism and Psychology of Colors. Ghana Journal of Linguistics, 8(2), 107-126. Retrieved from