DOI: https://doi.org/10.20535/2410-8286.155214

COLOUR COMPONENT IN THE SEMANTICS OF ETHNOPHOBIC TERMS (the case of non-standard American English)

Ihor Honta, Tatiana Pastushenko, Nataliia Borysenko

Abstract


The study aimed to identify the semantic and structural characteristics of ethnophobic terms with a colour component, as well as the conceptual basis and extralinguistic factors that have a role in their formation. Ethnophobic terms tend to emerge in the non-standard language, with slang making its core. Although often marked as derogatory or impolite, ethnicity-laden slang expressions form a dynamic and productive part of non-standard vocabulary, largely due to their pragmatic power. Ethnophobic terms used with reference to the largest ethnic minorities in the USA (Black, Latin and Native Americans) became the focus of our research. Given their prototypical nature and a wide spectrum of connotations, basic colour terms have shown the highest potential for integration with the ethnicity concept: an overwhelming number of ethnophobic terms contain explicit or implicit colour components in their semantic structure encoding the following colour categories: black, brown, red, yellow, and white. We have also suggested that in American ethnophobic slang, the universal opposition of black and white may have transformed into a conceptual opposition of "white" vs. "non-white" that has a variety of verbal representations. In addition, semantic configuration and evaluative power of colour categories are determined by the speaker’s point of reference affected by the stereotypes dominating their ethnic groups. Data analysis has shown that the morphological means of word formation typical of ethnophobic terms, including suffixation, compounding, blending, and abbreviation, are mainly combined with metonymy, metaphor, or both.

 

 


Keywords


ethnophobic terms; slang; colour categories; conceptual opposition; metaphor; metonymy

Full Text:

PDF

References


Altwaiji, M. (2019). American Orientalist Discourse: the Linguistic Formation and Transformation. International Journal of English Linguistics, 1, 9, 261-268. https://doi10.5539/ijel.v9n1p261

Antonchenko, T. (1999). Linhvoprahmatycni osoblyvosti funktsionuvannia etnonimiv ta etnophobizmiv (na materiali amerykanskoho variantu anhliyskoyi movy) [Linguopragmatic peculiarities of functioning of ethnonyms and ethnophobic terms (based on the American variant of the English language]. Visnyk Ukrainskoho Linhvistychnoho universytetu. Seriya: Filolohiya, 2 (1), 95-103.

Berlin, B. & Kay, P. (1969). Basic Color Terms: Their Universality and Evolution. Berkeley: Reed.

Bobrovnyk, S. (2014). Ethnic stereotypes and their reflection in English and Russian languages. Advanced Education, 2, 20-26. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.20535/2410-8286.39381

Brdar, M. & Brdar-Szabo, R. (2013). Some reflections on metonymy and word-formation. Explorations in English Language and Linguistics, 1 (1), 40-62. Retrieved July, 25 from https://hrcak.srce.hr/117775

Thompson, D. (Ed.) (1998). The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English (Ninth edition). Oxford: Clarendon Press.

COD. (1998). The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English. Ninth edition. Ed. by D. Thompson. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Dalzell, T. (ed.). (2018). The Routledge Dictionary of Modern American Slang and Unconventional English. New York, NY: Routledge.

Davies, E. (2003). A Goblin or a Dirty Nose? The Treatment of Culture-specific References in Translations of Harry Potter. The Translator, 9 (1), 65-100. Retrieved from https://doi.org//10.1080/13556509.2003.10799146

Dixon, T. (2015, April 2). Good Guys Are Still Always in White? Positive Change and Continued Misrepresentation of Race and Crime on Local Television News. Communication Research, 44 (6), 775-792. https://doi.org/10.1177/0093650215579223

Embree, L. (1997). American Ethnophobia, e.g., Irish_American in Phenomenological Perspective. Human Studies, 20 (2), 271-286. https://doi.org/10.1023/A: 1005332819914

Gates, H. (2014, January 6). How many slaves landed in the US. The Root. Retrieved from https://www.theroot.com/how-many-slaves-landed-in-the-us-1790873989

Habke, A. & Sept, R. (1993). Distinguishing group and cultural influences in interethnic conflict: a diagnostic model. Canadian Journal of Communication, 18 (4). Retrieved September, 12 from http://www.cjc-online.ca/index.php/journal/article/ view/773/679

Honta, I. (2018). Extralingvistychni chynnyky v utvorenni etnofobizmiv v amerykanskomu movnomu substandarti [Extralinguistic reasons for the creation of ethnophobic terms in American language non-standard]. Naukovyi visnyk Khersonskoho derzhavnoho universytetu. Seriya: Perekladoznavstvo ta mizhnarodna kommunikatsiya, 1, 31-36. http://tsj.kherson.ua/archive/2018/1/part_2/7.pdf

Jay, K. & Jay, T. (2015, November). Taboo word fluency and knowledge of slurs and general pejoratives: deconstructing the poverty-of-vocabulary myth. Language Sciences, 52, 251-259. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.langsci.2014.12.003

Jones, W. J. (2013). German Color Terms: A Study in their Historical Evolution from Earliest Time to the Present. Amsterdam/ Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Co.

Lai, H.-L. & Chung, S.-F. (2018). Color Polysemy: Black and White in Taiwanese Languages. Taiwan Journal of Linguistics, 16 (1), 95-130. Doi: 10.6519/TJL.2018.16(1).4

Lakoff, G. (2012). Explaining Embodied Cognition Results. Topics in Cognitive Science, 4(4), 773-785. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1756-8765.2012.01222.x

Liutianska, N. (2005). Vidtvorennia sytuatsiy mizhetnichnoyi vzayemodiyi u mas-mediinyh brytanskyh ta amerykanskyh dyskursyvnyh praktykah [Reproduction of situations of inter-ethnic interaction in mass media British and American discourse practice]. Unpublished candidate dissertation, Petro Mohyla Black Sea National University, Mykolaiv, Ukraine.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary (n.d.). Retrieved 11.12.2018 from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary

Owczarek, D. (2015). The female experience of the Other. Studia Anglica Posnaniensia, 50 (2-3), 95-110. https://doi.org/10.1515/stap-2015-0026

English Oxford Living Dictionaries (n.d.). Retrieved 14.12.2018 from https://en.oxforddictionaries.com

Popov, S. (2016, September 23). Metonimiya i metafora kak koreliaty dvuh etapov vynuzhdennogo vospriyatiya vozmozhnosti sozdat’ novoie leksitcheskoie znacheniye [Metonymy and metaphor as correlates of two stages of enforced perception of capacity in creating a new lexical meaning]. Jazykovedny Casopis, 67, 31-44. https://doi.org/10.1515/jazcas-2016-0009

Porshnev, B. F. (1978). Opposition as a Component of Ethnic Self-consciousness. In Regina E. Holloman et al (Eds.), Perspectives on Ethnicity (pp.139-146). The Hague: Mouton Publishers.

The Racial Slur Database Dictionary (n.d.). Retrieved 22.12.2018 from http://www.rsdb.org.

Rosch, E. (1975). The Nature of Mental Codes for Color Categories. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Perception and Performance, 1(4), 303-322. Retrieved 11.12.2018 from http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0096-1523.1.4.303

Saleem, M., Prot, S., Anderson, C., & Lemieux, A. (2015, December 9). Exposure to Muslims in Media and Support for Public Policies Harming Muslims. Communication Research, 44, 841-869. https://doi.org/10.1177/0093650215619214

Spears, R. A. (1991). Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions. Lincolnwood: National Textbook Company, Illinois, USA.

Sviatyuk, Yu. (2005). Semantyka ta funktsionuvannya etnonominatsiy u suchasniy anhliyskiy movi [Semantics and functioning of ethnic terms in the modern English language]. Unpublished candidate dissertation, Donetsk National University, Donetsk, Ukraine.

Sviatyuk, Yu. (2015). Etnichna identychnist’ ta natsional’na tolerantnist’ v anhliyskiy movi [Ethnic identity and national tolerance in English]. Linhvistychni doslidzhennia, 39, 182-187. Retrieved 22.12.2018 from http://nbuv.gov.ua/UJRN/znpkhnpu_lingv_2015_39_30.

Turner, V. (1975). Symbolic Studies. Annual Review of Anthropology, 4, 145-161.

UT. (n.d.). Urban Thesaurus [Electronic dictionary]. Retrieved 17.12.2018 from https://urbanthesaurus.org/

Wierzbicka, A. (1996). Semantics: Primes and Universals. Oxford University Press.

Wentworth, H. & Flexner, S. (1975). Dictionary of American Slang. New York, USA: Thomas Y. Growell Publishers.

Widawski, M. (2013). Semantic change in African American slang. Studia Anglica Posnaniensia, 48(1), 29-44. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.2478/stap-2013-0002

YourDictionary.com (n.d.). UC Santa Barbara Library. Retrieved 11.12.2018 from https://www.library.ucsb.edu/ research/db/1019




Copyright (c) 2019 Ihor Honta, Tatiana Pastushenko, Nataliia Borysenko

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

ISSN 2410-8286 (Online), ISSN 2409-3351 (Print)