Date: Thu, 25 Aug 1994 08:55:11 CDT
From: Mike Picone MPICONE[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UA1VM.BITNET
Subject: Re: What is a Racist Term?
Racial labels/epithets are probably one of the best examples around of
how essential pragmatic information is to the proper interpretation of
any utterance. What is interesting to me is to compare racial terminologies
in Cajun French to the English system, the latter having undergone shift
due to public pressure which Cajun French was able to `hide' from. Thus
most Cajuns refer to African-Americans as _les neg'_ (les negres), which
can be pejorative or neutral depending on context. However, what is really
surprising is that in many Cajun ballads, the term _mon neg'_ is a term
of endearment referring to a white Cajun. No doubt this has its origin in
the close ties between Cajun and Creole musical roots.
University of Alabama