Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat May 9 22:31:09 UTC 2009

At 6:04 PM -0400 5/9/09, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>Having the OED open at this instant, I note that "auto-" may not be
>necessary:  "ethnonym: A proper name by which a people or ethnic
>group is known; spec. one which it calls itself."

The problem is precisely that "spec.", indicating that the "autonym"
use really is just a specific variety of "ethnonym", which extends to
slurs as used by outsiders (in fact it did so on this list a while
back).  This is a rather pernicious autohyponymy, given the rather
robust contrast between insulting labels used by non-members of a
group and self-identifying labels used by a group's members, along
with I presume non-insulting neutral exolabels.


>At 5/9/2009 05:15 PM, Lynne Murphy wrote:
>>The term I'm more familiar with is 'auto-ethnonym'.  Only 610 google hits
>>versus the 37,000 or so for 'autonym', but a lot of the 'autonym' ones mean
>>something else...
>>--On Friday, May 8, 2009 13:05 -0400 "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
>>>At 5/8/2009 12:21 PM, Mark Mandel wrote:
>>>>AHD 4th edn
>>>>A name by which a people or social group refers to itself.
>>>Thanks.  This definition seems useful -- e.g., for talking about how
>>>"people of color" refer, and used to refer, to themselves.
>>Dr M Lynne Murphy
>>Senior Lecturer in Linguistics and English Language
>>Arts B135
>>University of Sussex
>>Brighton BN1 9QN
>>phone: +44-(0)1273-678844
>>The American Dialect Society -
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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