Gewalt der Sprache: Lexikalische Abwertung als (Ab)Bild einer Sprachgemeinschaft

Aneta Stojić, Marija Brala-Vukanović


The focus of this paper is on pejoratives, i. e. on lexical units of the negative evaluative type. Departing from the assumption that the study of negative evaluation offers an insight into hu-man nature, we shall here analyse the process of negative evaluation (the process of pejoriza-tion), as well as the result of that process (pejoratives themselves). The analysis is conducted on currently available research – both traditional and cognitive linguistic – as well as on the corpus that has been obtained from both scholarly articles as well as dictionaries. The basis of the corpus is represented by pejoratives used to address people, found in German dictionaries. In order to test the (universal) status and the limits of the conceptual status of the pejoratives themselves, we have analysed the corpus also at the cross linguistic level, comparing and contrasting the German examples with equivalent English examples.