Zur Semantik der ethnischen Schimpfnamen

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] On the semantics of ethnic names

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This article aims to advance a theory on the semantic status of ethnic epithets. The present analysis moves from some epithets which mark the social interaction between Italian and German people on a cultural basis (food habits). We consider the main approaches that can explain the relationship between the denotation and connotation of these terms and illustrate some of their drawbacks. Then, a solution based on the speech-act theory is offered. It is claimed that a speaker, when using an ethnic epithet, performs two different speech-acts, one of which is always an expressive, according to Searle’s terminology. The defended theory is in line with those which consider the connotative meaning of ethnic epithets as semantically expressed and can be extended to other connoted terms of a linguistic system.
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] On the semantics of ethnic names
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)125-136
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • atti espressivi
  • atti linguistici
  • epiteti etnici
  • ethnic epithets
  • expressives
  • meaning, connotazione
  • significato, connotazione
  • speech acts

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