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Slurs in speech and thought

Abstract : The present work investigates the structure, function and cognitive underpinnings of slurring terms (such as "boche"). Slurring terms, and the mental correlates that I posit they have, raise interesting and possibly foundational issues about the nature of meaning, about expressivity in natural language, about the role of emotions in categorization. I discuss these questions - among many others - by studying different existing or original accounts of the phenomenon. I present novel linguistic evidence against linguistic views such as truth-conditional or presuppositional accounts, and develop new psychological (i.e. non-linguistic) theories of the phenomenon based on a connection with responsedependent concepts, or with essentialist concepts. The interesting linguistic properties of slurs, such as projection and expressivity, appear to be the linguistic consequences of the essentially mental fact that concepts may be loaded with emotional or evaluative content.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, October 3, 2018 - 5:22:07 PM
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Tristan Thommen. Slurs in speech and thought. Psychology. PSL Research University, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018PSLEE013⟩. ⟨tel-01887200⟩

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