15.2281, Media: MPR: The 'n-word'

LINGUIST List linguist at linguistlist.org
Tue Aug 10 20:33:47 UTC 2004

LINGUIST List:  Vol-15-2281. Tue Aug 10 2004. ISSN: 1068-4875.

Subject: 15.2281, Media: MPR: The 'n-word'

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Date:  Tue, 10 Aug 2004 06:18:51 +0800
From:  Karen Chung <karchung at ntu.edu.tw>
Subject:  Media: MPR: The n-word

-------------------------------- Message 1 -------------------------------

Date:  Tue, 10 Aug 2004 06:18:51 +0800
From:  Karen Chung <karchung at ntu.edu.tw>
Subject:  Media: MPR: The n-word

	There's an online written and audio report from Minnesota
Public Radio, dated August 8, 2004, entitled "The n-word", by Brandt
Williams, at:


	One quote from an interviewee that especially impressed me
from a phonetic and sociolinguistic point of view:

	"You know why at times they don't realize how the word offends
Afro American people? Simple reason. They don't say the word pretty as
we do!" says Simmons. "They got to hear that 'r'. That 'r' is what
makes us go irate. Instant irate. 'You no-good nigger!' And I say,
whoa man! And he turn around and say, well y'all use it. And I say
y'all don't say it as pretty as we. That's why. We gotta hear that
'r'. When you hear us call each other 'nigga', you don't hear the

	The report includes excerpts from an interview with linguist
Robin Lakoff, and quotes from comedian Richard Pryor.

	The reporter says at the beginning of the report that he is
African-American, but he is not identifiable as such from his accent,
which sounds like unmarked Minnesotan to me.

	No registration is required to access the report.

         Karen Steffen Chung

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