Date: Tue, 12 Mar 1996 11:21:01 -0500
From: "M. Lynne Murphy" 104LYN[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MUSE.ARTS.WITS.AC.ZA
Subject: british english question
(incidentally, how do we parse "american dialect society"--is it an
american society devoted to dialects or a society devoted to american
i need to know whether "asian" in british english has a sense that
means "south asian/indian." now, i know that "asian" is used to
refer to people of indian/pakistani/sri lankan descent in britain, but
the fact that it is used to refer to these people does not mean that
it has a sense that means "indian"--just like if i refer to my
siblings and they all happen to be male, it doesn't mean that
"siblings" has a sense that is synonymous with "brothers".
so, the best kind of evidence that i could get for an 'indian' sense
would be if it were contrasted with other words for people
from asia--something like "asians and chinese live there" or "the law
discriminates against asians and chinese."
i've checked three british dictionaries and not found this sense, but
then the south african dictionaries don't have the sense either, even
though south african english definitely does have the "south asian
does anyone know or have any references for me to chase down?
thanks as ever,