A Rich-Lexicon Theory of Slurs and Their Uses

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In this paper, I present data involving the use of the Romanian slur "țigan", consideration of which leads to the postulation of a sui-generis, irreducible type of use of slurs ("identificatory"). This type of use is potentially problematic for extant theories of slurs. In addition, together with other well-established uses (derogatory, appropriated etc.), it shows that there is more variation in the use of slurs than previously acknowledged. I explain this variation by construing slurs as polysemous. To implement this idea, I appeal to a rich-lexicon account of polysemy. I show how such a theory can be applied to slurs and discuss several important issues that arise.
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First archival date: 2020-12-03
Latest version: 1 (2020-12-03)
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