The goal of this paper is to propose a Compatibility Condition for multiple expressive elements in American English. In exploring the collocation patterns of ethnic slurs, negative nigger vs. positive nigga, with other expressives, I suggest the systematicity in interaction between various expressive items. A big data-based trend analysis answers the following questions: First, how are the multiple occurrences of expressives with varying attitudes constrained? To capture the dynamic paradigm of co-occuring expressives, I re-evaluate the validity of the Compatibility Condition (CC) with big data in American English. Second, why are there exceptional cases that do not conform to the CC? I discuss how such intentional flout is employed to trigger special pragmatic effects. Theoretical implications include: (i) establishing the positive emotive stance of nigga, contrary to general conception of negativity in slurs; (ii) proposing the CC in American English; and (iii) supporting the notion of multidimensionality.
2. The Expressive Dimension of Slurs
3. Big Data-based Trend Analysis: Compatibility Condition