I don't think 'denigrate' is currently realized as possibly taboo because of the etymology or the sound.
pointing out that connection, I'm almost inclined now to not use the word 'denigrate', but a close phonology is more likely to trigger taboo avoidance.
I don't know about whole -families- of words, but certainly a single morpheme might be recognizable and so any word with it might share the taboo properties.
How do you pronounce the seventh planet from the sun? It's at least humorous to every 10 year-old. People are changing the pronunciation because of it.
There's a country in Africa whose pronunciation hasn't changed even though it is spelled very closely to the n-word.
Associations are whatever people make and you can't control how other people make their associations. Whether there is a logical association that is hard to hear but intellectually discussed, or an unexpected phonetic change that makes a word sound like a taboo word, it doesn't matter. If some people don't like it then, well, they don't like it. Sometimes it is because of semi-literacy or lack of common culture, but it can also be pretty legitimate. Some things aren't taboo (or otherwise special) until it's about you.
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