A Study of «Attributive Ethnonyms» in the History of English with Special Reference to «Foodsemy»

by Marcin Kudła (Author)
©2016 Monographs 306 Pages


The author studies ethnic stereotypes in the history of English from the perspective of Cognitive Linguistics. He views an ethnic stereotype as an idealised cognitive model (ICM) which consists of a cluster of metonymic submodels (such as BODY, CUISINE, NAME, etc.). Each submodel may trigger the formation of an attributive ethnonym, which ascribes some attribute to the target group. While such terms are mostly derogatory, context plays a crucial role in their perception. The analysis proper focuses on foodsemic ethnonyms (most of which activate the submodel of CUISINE). Out of 168 items, above 50% follow the «FOODSTUFF FOR ETHNIC GROUP» or «FOODSTUFF EATER FOR ETHNIC GROUP» metonymy. Most examples come from Am.E., with Mexicans being the most frequently described target group.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Typographic Conventions
  • List of Abbreviations
  • List of Figures and Tables
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Issues in Categorisation
  • 1.0 Introduction
  • 1.1 Philosophical Assumptions
  • 1.1.1 Objectivist Realism
  • 1.1.2 Experiential Realism
  • 1.2 Cognitive Approach to Categorisation
  • 1.2.1 Prototypes
  • Fuzziness
  • Gestalt
  • Family Resemblances
  • Basic Level
  • Prototypes: A Synopsis
  • 1.2.2 Beyond the Prototype
  • Schemas, Frames, Domains and Models
  • Idealised Cognitive Models
  • Sources of Prototype Effects
  • Organising Principles of ICMs
  • ICMs and Classical Categories
  • ICMs and Domains
  • ICMs and Encyclopaedic Knowledge
  • 1.2.3 Conceptual Metaphor Theory
  • Metaphor
  • The Nature of Metaphorical Mapping
  • Dimensions of Metaphors
  • Cognitive Function
  • Conventionality
  • Level of Generality
  • Metonymy
  • Contiguity
  • Metonymy and Domains
  • Mapping in Metonymy
  • Contingency
  • The Interaction of Metaphor and Metonymy
  • Metaphtonymy
  • Cumulative Metaphtonymy
  • Integrated Metaphtonymy
  • Border-line Cases
  • 1.2.4 The Axiological Factor in ICMs
  • The Great Chain of Being
  • The great chain metaphor
  • 1.3 Social Categorisation
  • 1.3.1 Social Identity
  • 1.3.2 Ethnocentrism
  • 1.3.3 Scapegoating
  • 1.3.4 Stereotypes
  • Social Psychological Perspective on Stereotypes
  • The Cognitive Dimension
  • The Social Dimension
  • Linguistic Perspective on Stereotypes
  • Ethnolinguistic School of Lublin
  • The Role of Language in Stereotyping
  • Stereotype Transmission
  • Cognitive Organisation
  • Stereotype Maintenance
  • Expression of Identity
  • Stereotypes: A Synopsis
  • 1.4 Summary
  • Chapter 2: Ethnic Otherness and Foodsemy
  • 2.0 Introduction
  • 2.1 The phenomenon of foodsemy
  • 2.1.1 Food and humans
  • 2.1.2 The axiology of food
  • 2.1.3 The axiology of foodsemy
  • 2.2 The concept of ethnicity
  • 2.2.1 Theories of ethnicity
  • 2.2.2 Ethnicity and related concepts
  • 2.2.3 Ethnicity as a dimension of otherness
  • 2.3 Ethnicity as an idealised cognitive model
  • 2.3.1 The scope of the ethnicity ICM
  • 2.3.2 The structure of the ethnicity ICM
  • 2.3.3 Attributive ethnonyms
  • The role of submodels in attributive ethnonyms
  • The axiological load of attributive ethnonyms
  • The distribution of attributive ethnonyms
  • Overview of attributive ethnonyms in English
  • The person submodel
  • The country submodel
  • The body submodel
  • The clothing submodel
  • The language submodel
  • The name submodel
  • The paragon submodel
  • The religion submodel
  • The geography submodel
  • The natural environment submodel
  • The occupation submodel
  • The social status submodel
  • The instrument submodel
  • The emblem submodel
  • The character submodel
  • The cuisine submodel
  • 2.4 Foodsemic ethnonyms in the history of English
  • 2.4.1 Objectives
  • 2.4.2 Methodology
  • 2.4.3 Material
  • Old English
  • Middle English
  • Modern English
  • The English-speaking world: limeys, porridge wogs, leeks, potato-eaters, and Yankees
  • The Low Countries: butter-mouths and cheese-heads
  • Central and Eastern Europe: krauts, sausages and cabbage-heads
  • Jews: bagels and pork-dodgers
  • Scandinavia: herring-chokers
  • France and French-speaking Canada: frog-eaters and peasoups
  • Southern Europe: macaronis and garlic-eaters
  • Central and South America: bean-eaters and chili-bellies
  • Asians: rice bellies and curry munchers
  • Indigenous people of the ‘New World’: gut eaters and Eskimos
  • Non-dietary foodsemic ethnonyms
  • 2.4.4 Discussion
  • The cuisine submodel
  • The cognitive criterion
  • The regional criterion
  • The temporal criterion
  • The body submodel
  • The cognitive criterion
  • The regional criterion
  • The temporal criterion
  • Epilogue: a survey
  • Conclusions
  • References
  • Index

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Typographic Conventions

Italics are employed for:

Names of lexical categories (e.g. frog-eater, limey, potato-head)

Single quotation marks are employed for:

Meanings/senses/sense-threads/meaning-threads of lexical categories

(e.g. Taffy ‘Welshman’, Sawny ‘Scotsman’, Closh ‘Dutchman’)

Small capitals are employed for:

Names of concepts/conceptual categories/conceptual domains/cognitive models




Bold small capitals enclosed in angled brackets are employed for:

Metaphoric and metonymic relationships (e.g. <TIME IS MONEY>, <PART FOR WHOLE>)

| 15 →

List of Abbreviations

Language names abbreviations

Am.E. American English
Au.E. Australian English
Br.E. British English
Cn.E. Canadian English
E.M.E. Early Middle English
E.Mod.E. Early Modern English
I.E. Indo-European
M.E. Middle English
M.H.G. Middle High German
Mod.E. Modern English
L.M.E. Late Middle English
L.Mod.E. Late Modern English
N.Z.E. New Zealand English
O.E. Old English
P.G. Proto-Germanic
P.I.E. Proto-Indo-European
S.A.E. South African English

Source names abbreviations

| 19 →

List of Figures and Tables



ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2016 (April)
Categorisation Cognitive Linguistics Ethnic stereotype ICM
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2016. 306 pp., 28 b/w ill., 22 tables

Biographical notes

Marcin Kudła (Author)

Marcin Kudła graduated from the University of Maria Curie-Skłodowska in Lublin, Poland. He received his PhD degree in linguistics from the University of Rzeszów, Poland. His academic interests include diachronic linguistics, anthropological linguistics and cognitive semantics.


Title: A Study of «Attributive Ethnonyms» in the History of English with Special Reference to «Foodsemy»
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308 pages