How dogwhistles work

R. Henderson, E. McCready

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

11 Scopus citations


The paper focuses on the semantics and pragmatics of dogwhistles, namely expressions that send one message to an outgroup while at the same time sending a second (often taboo, controversial, or inflammatory) message to an ingroup. There are three questions that need to be resolved to understand the semantics and pragmatics of the phenomenon at hand: (i) What kind of meaning is dogwhistle content—implicature, conventional implicature, etc.; (ii) how do (some but not all) hearers recover the dogwhistle content, and (iii) how do expressions become endowed with dogwhistle content? These three questions are interrelated, but previous analyses have emphasized answers to a subset of these questions in ways that provide unsatisfactory answers to the others. The goal for this paper is to take stock of existing accounts, while showing a way forward that reconciles their differences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNew Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence - JSAI-isAI Workshops, JURISIN, SKL, AI-Biz, LENLS, AAA, SCIDOCA, kNeXI, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsKoji Mineshima, Kazuhiro Kojima, Ken Satoh, Sachiyo Arai, Daisuke Bekki, Yuiko Ohta
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9783319937939
StatePublished - 2018
Event9th JSAI International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, JSAI-isAI 2017 - Tsukuba, Japan
Duration: Nov 13 2017Nov 15 2017

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume10838 LNAI
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference9th JSAI International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, JSAI-isAI 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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