Discrimination against LGBT people represents a significant and long-standing societal problem that occurs in several forms, including lexical discrimination, which consists in frequent usage of discriminatory epithets. Lexical discrimination produces a vicious circle where speakers grow subconsciously accustomed to abusive language and marginalisation becomes institutionalised. A vast literature has tackled lexical discrimination, providing several country-level studies. The cases of France and Italy are described as very different: while the French experience is centred around grassroot mobilisation, Italy features a traditional strategy of silence. This work aims to verify such difference empirically. Using a rich and detailed dataset, we apply time series analysis on the frequencies of usage of the terms that characterise male homosexuality. Our results highlight some similarities and some differences between the French and the Italian case, stressing the importance of lexical resemantisation that occurred in France but not in Italy.

Language as a proxy for cultural change. A contrastive analysis for French and Italian lexicon on male homosexuality

AGOVINO, M;CERCIELLO, M
;
2021

Abstract

Discrimination against LGBT people represents a significant and long-standing societal problem that occurs in several forms, including lexical discrimination, which consists in frequent usage of discriminatory epithets. Lexical discrimination produces a vicious circle where speakers grow subconsciously accustomed to abusive language and marginalisation becomes institutionalised. A vast literature has tackled lexical discrimination, providing several country-level studies. The cases of France and Italy are described as very different: while the French experience is centred around grassroot mobilisation, Italy features a traditional strategy of silence. This work aims to verify such difference empirically. Using a rich and detailed dataset, we apply time series analysis on the frequencies of usage of the terms that characterise male homosexuality. Our results highlight some similarities and some differences between the French and the Italian case, stressing the importance of lexical resemantisation that occurred in France but not in Italy.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11367/92133
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