A suggestion exists in the child language literature that the meanings
natural kind terms are acquired before the meanings of colour terms.
Explanations have typically claimed that object terms are more salient
than property terms. Such explanations, however, tend to ignore the fact
that natural kind terms refer to categories with sharp, clear boundaries
while colour terms refer to categories with unclear or variable boundaries.
Nonetheless, there has been little evidence to show that the delay
in the acquisition of colour terms arises from these semantic properties.
This study compares natural kind and colour naming (and corresponding
comprehension) by 48 children, ranging in age from 3;0 to
5;5. The results suggest that, contra the salience view, the apparent
delay in colour naming may be explained on solely semantic grounds.