World Color Survey

WCS Data Archives

Richard Cook1, Paul Kay2, and Terry Regier3
1. University of California at Berkeley
2. International Computer Science Institute, Berkeley, CA
3. University of Chicago
In any published work based on these data, please cite these archives.

Introduction to the WCS Online Data Archives

In the WCS investigation, an average of 24 native speakers of each of 110 unwritten languages were asked (1) to name each of 330 Munsell chips, shown in a constant, random order, and (2), exposed to a palette of these chips and asked to to pick out the best example(s) ("foci") of the major terms elicited in the naming task. See the original WCS Instructions to Fieldworkers for further information on the data elicitation method. The files in this archive display the results of that investigation.

  • The file inst.txt contains a plain text version of the original WCS Instructions to Fieldworkers.
  • The file chip.txt gives the special WCS coordinates assigned to the Munsell stimuli listed by order of presentation. Letter coordinates (A...J) denote 10 degrees of Munsell Value (lightness); numeral coordinates denote 40 equally space Munsell hues. All chips at maximum Chroma for the (Hue,Value) pair.
  • The file foci.txt gives for each term in each language the chip(s) selected as best example(s) of that term by each native consultant.
  • The file foci-exp.txt contains the same information as `foci.txt' in a format that assigns each focal chip choice to a separate line (instead of employing certain abbreviations for ranges of adjacent chips).
  • The file lang.txt contains for each language in the survey, the country in which the consultants reside and the name of the fieldworker(s), as well as certain further information used internally by WCS staff.
  • The file spkr.txt contains information about individual consultants, including age and sex (but not name).
  • The file term.txt contains for each consultant and each stimulus chip the term with which the consultant named the chip.
  • The file dict.txt gives for each term the WCS abbreviation which occurs in several other files, principally `foci.txt' and `term.txt'. The typographical renderings of the actual terms in this file do not in many cases correspond exactly to what was recorded by the fieldworker because of font limitations, among other reasons.

  • The file BK-term.txt contains the naming responses from the Berlin and Kay (1969) study: Basic Color Terms. These data are comparable to those in `term.txt'.
  • The file BK-foci.txt contains the naming responses from the Berlin and Kay (1969) study. These data are comparable to those in `foci.txt'.
  • The file BK-dict.txt gives for the Berlin and Kay (1969) study data information on the color terms in that study, comparable to WCS `dict.txt'.

  • The WCS Mapping Tables relate, for each of the 330 stimulus chips, the WCS and the Munsell coordinates, as well as the CIEL*a*b* coordinates.

Each individual file in this archive has a separate readme with further details.

Primary WCS Data




inst.txt (22497 bytes) HTML
chip.txt (4018 bytes) readme
foci.txt (270402 bytes) readme
foci-exp.txt (1550056 bytes) readme
lang.txt (6709 bytes) readme (ISO 639-3 codes)
spkr.txt (27884 bytes) readme
term.txt (10216919 bytes) readme
dict.txt (UTF-8) (39132 bytes) readme
(all of the above)
(2714475 bytes) readme

Berlin & Kay (1969 [1991])

BK-term.txt (37323 bytes) readme
BK-foci.txt (2041 bytes) readme
BK-dict.txt (5189 bytes) readme

WCS Mapping Tables

cnum-vhcm-lab-new.txt (12528 bytes) readme
WCS-Munsell-chart (text) (4078 bytes) HTML
WCS-Munsell-chart (image) (50934 bytes) HTML

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0130420.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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