indigenous, cont.

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Dec 15 01:27:16 UTC 2000

At 8:44 AM -0500 12/15/00, Dennis R. Preston wrote:
>>example, in a fairly large survey, we found that "African-American"
>>was a preferred label for people ("He's an African American
>>student") but that "Black" was preferred for cultural artifacts ("He
>>likes Black music"; "She goes to a Black church"). "Black" was
>>strongly dispreferred in stand-alone NPs ("He's a Black," "There are
>>some Blacks in the other room"), although I believe the same has
>>been noted for "Jew" (versus "Jewish person") on the list earlier
>>and that one simple explanation has to do with a dislike of
>>monosyllabicity for person reference.
and another, overlapping one is the dislike of nouns as ethnic and
character labels, and the preference for non-nominal descriptions,
because of the tendency for nouns to be used to establish categories
and therefore pigeonholes and slurs.  Cf. Bolinger and Wierzbicka on
"I'm a deserter" vs. "I deserted", "He's a loser" vs. "He lost",
"She's a drunk" vs. "She's drunk", etc.  The potency of nouns appears
to extend to cases in which differences in syllabicity is not a
factor, as in several of the examples provided by Bolinger (in
_Language:  The Loaded Weapon_) and Wierzbicka (in "What's in a


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