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 dialects?) 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 only" sense. does anyone know or have any references for me to chase down? thanks as ever, lynne --------------------------------------------------------------------- M. Lynne Murphy 104lyn[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] Department of Linguistics phone: 27(11)716-2340 University of the Witwatersrand fax: 27(11)716-8030 Johannesburg 2050 SOUTH AFRICA