"Slurs: A Syntactically Grounded Ambiguity"
Eleonora Orlando (Sociedad Argentina de Análisis Filosófico (SADAF)), Andres Saab

March 5, 2024, 2:30pm - 4:00pm

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Institut Jean Nicod
University of Warsaw

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The Slurring Terms Across Languages (STAL) network (https://sites.google.com/view/stalnetwork/home) invites you to a talk by Eleonora Orlando (CONICET/SADAF/University of Buenos Aires) & Andrés Saab (SADAF/University of Buenos Aires) entitled "Slurs: A Syntactically Grounded Ambiguity". The talk will take place online on MARCH 5, 14:30-16:00, and is part of the of STAL network seminar series. If you want to participate, please write to [email protected] for the Zoom link. Below you can find the abstract.

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In this talk we ground an intuitive distinction between two interpretations of slur-words on the different syntactic configuration of the sentences containing them. We take this phenomenon to give some support to a dualist semantics according to which slurs have both a representational or truth-conditional and an expressive or use-conditional meaning dimension. The talk has the following structure. In the first part, we point to an intuitive ambiguity in certain sentences containing slurs. Then, we argue for the grammatical source of a distinction between predicative/argumental and epithetic readings of those sentences by defending a certain grammatical approach to epithets, according to which they can be assimilated to free pronouns. Finally, we provide different syntactic tests for distinguishing epithetic from predicative occurrences of slur-words, and we introduce some lexical restrictions on epithetic occurrences.

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March 5, 2024, 2:00pm UTC

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Institut Jean Nicod
The National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

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