No. 11 (2016): Emotions, Normativity, and Social Life
Session 3. Emotions, Language, and Hate Speech

Slurs and Negation

Published January 4, 2017
  • slurs,
  • pejoratives,
  • metalinguistic negation
How to Cite
Panzeri, F., & Carrus, S. (2017). Slurs and Negation. Phenomenology and Mind, (11), 170-180.


We present the results of an experimental study that aims at establishing whether the offensive component of slurs exhibits nondisplaceability (Potts 2007). We found that the derogatory content survives in conditionals and questions (supporting a pragmatic approach), and diminishes in indirect reports (in line with presuppositional accounts); surprisingly, the offensiveness of slurs results almost nullified in negated sentences. In a second study, we explore the hypothesis that negated slurs were rated as not offensive because the negation was interpreted as metalinguistic.


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