Hvorfor kalder du mig neger? En semantisk og pragmatisk undersøgelse af ordet neger

Sarah Barskov, Liv Hernø-Toftild & Julie Vitcetz Kjær

Studenteropgave: Kandidatprojekt


This project examines the semantics and pragmatics of the Danish word neger within a postcolonial linguistic perspective. Furthermore the project explains the conflict between the different semantics of the word and the fact, that Danes mainly focus on intention in a linguistic interaction.
The project explores the two different embedded semantics of the word neger: One is based upon a neutral description of ethnicity, while the other semantic is of the word’s pejorative meaning. The word has had an encoded racist value since the colonial age, while the lowering of the word’s value is a later development. Therefore, the idea, that one must accept the older generation’s use of the word as a neutral description, is mistaken.
The explanation, as to why some do not perceive the word neger as racist, might be, that the Danes have forgotten their colonial heritage. This conflict between the negative encoded semantics and the Danish focus on the speaker’s intention could be resolved by a common Danish reflection upon Denmark’s role in the trading of slaves, through education and further debates on the word’s semantics. While the intention of the speaker is often regarded as the most important element of the linguistic interaction, we instead recommend to acknowledge the word’s racist encoding and question the use of it.

UddannelserDansk, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato27 maj 2017
Antal sider61
VejledereCarsten Levisen


  • neger
  • pragmatik
  • semantik
  • afrodansker
  • sprog
  • racisme
  • diskrimination
  • Goffman
  • eufemisme
  • ortofemisme
  • dysfemisme
  • face
  • høflighed
  • metapragmatik
  • Hill
  • Burridge
  • Allan