This article aims to advance a theory of the semantic status of slurs. The more common approaches to the topic are considered and some of their drawbacks are illustrated. Then, a solution based on the speech-act theory is offered. It is claimed that a speaker, when using a slur, 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 derogatory meaning of slurs as semantically expressed. Nonetheless, it is shown how the derogatory meaning and the neutral content of slurs cannot be conjoined and must belong to two different dimensions.
Titolo tradotto del contributo[Autom. eng. transl.] The multi-act semantics of the slur
Lingua originaleItalian
pagine (da-a)261-275
Numero di pagine15
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2014


  • atti linguistici
  • semantic status of derogatory content
  • slur
  • speech-acts
  • statuto semantico del contenuto derogatorio

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