Stockholm university

CLLAM Seminar: Ethan Nowak (Umeå)


Date: Friday 7 October 2022

Time: 10.00 – 12.00

Location: D700

Sociolinguistic variation, slurs, and speech acts


In this paper, I argue that the ‘social meanings’ associated with sociolinguistic variation put pressure on the standard philosophical conception of language, according to which the foremost thing we do with words is exchange information. Drawing on parallels with the explanatory challenged posed by slurs and pejoratives, I argue that the best way to understand social meanings is to think of them in speech act theoretic terms, and I develop a distinctive form of pluralism about the performances realized by means of sociolinguistic variants.