Seminar with Dan Zeman (University of Warsaw, Faculty of Philosophy)
Rich-Lexicon Theories of Slurs: A Comparison
The seminar will be a hybrid meeting. It will be held both in room 28 in Institute of Philosophy, UJ (Grodzka 52) and on Teams on October 20, 2022 (Thursday, 17:45 CEST).
The semantics of slurs has recently seen a flourish of theories aiming to explain a wide range of data about their linguistic behaviour (embeddings, various types of uses, etc.). In this presentation, I focus on what I call “rich-lexicon” theories, according to which the lexical entry/linguistic meaning of slurs is composed of several interrelated meaning dimensions from which a particular one is selected in a given context. Appeal to this type of theories supports a view of slurs as polysemous. I first present some of the data to be accounted for, and then offer a description of the commonalities shared by all rich-lexicon theories. Then I sketch a version of the view that I prefer (based on a proposal by del Pinal (2018)) and show how it deals with the data. I compare this theory with two extant rich-lexicon theories; those of Croom (2011, 2013) and Neufeld (2019, 2022); and assess them vis-à-vis their theoretical commitments and empirical adequacy. Finally, I gesture towards applying the rich-lexicon framework to other natural language expressions besides slurs, such as thick terms.
The event is part of Krakow Seminars in Law, Language and Philosophy, organized by the Jagiellonian Centre for Law, Language and Philosophy. The event is part of the Philosophy of Language, Social Ontology, and Contemporary Legal Theory Research Platform (POB Heritage JU Grant) which includes team members from Institut Jean Nicod, University of Milan, University of Lisbon, Zagreb University along with the Jagiellonian University Krakow.