A diachronic and synchronic analysis of racial and gender epithets in judicial opinions, 1900-1997
Breon, Bruce William
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This dissertation examines the frequency with which several racial and gender epithets occur within state appellate court judicial opinions. Totals of linguistic tokens for several racial and gender epithets are compared in order to determine if any historical, lexical, or geographic patterns of distribution exist. Additionally, totals and frequency rates for epithet usage were compared to frequency rates for profanity usage in the same genre to determine whether epithets are becoming more, or less, common than profanity. A synchronic analysis of opinions was conducted in order to determine how appellate court judges included one specific racial epithet when it was used by one of the parties in the case.