How to do things with slurs: Studies in the way of derogatory words

Language and Communication 33:177-204 (2013)
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This article provides an original account of slurs and how they may be differentially used by in-group and out-group speakers. Slurs are first distinguished from other terms and their role in social interaction is discussed. A new distinction is introduced between three different uses of slurs : the paradigmatic derogatory use, non-paradigmatic derogatory use, and non-paradigmatic non-derogatory use. I then account for their literal meaning and explain how a family-resemblance conception of category membership can clarify our understanding of the various natural-language uses of slurs, -. The focus is restricted primarily to race-based and sex-based slurs used in the context of English speakers, and the article concludes with desiderata to be met by any subsequent analyses of slurs
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First archival date: 2013-05-05
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