ISSN / EISSN : 1392-1517 / 2029-8315
Published by: Vilnius University Press (10.15388)
Total articles ≅ 1,050
Latest articles in this journal
Kalbotyra, Volume 74, pp 88-103; https://doi.org/10.15388/kalbotyra.2021.74.5
This article explores initialisms and acronyms taken from newspapers in the French press. In this article, using data from our study of abbreviated words, we attempt to answer the following questions: How can we shorten a word in French? What are the correct forms (means) of pronunciation of initialisms and acronyms? Can an initialism be considered as a separate (common) word? Before investigating the origin and function of various abbreviations in the French press, the preferred modality of each era, or even the basic rationales behind using such abbreviations, we define a term for abbreviated forms. It seems important to us to present our own definition and to illustrate in detail the problems of the subject. French uses four forms of abbreviated words to help create new words and build vocabulary. These four main forms of abbreviated words are: initials, acronyms, abbreviations, and truncations. At the same time, our goal in this article is to clarify the problem of pronunciation of initialisms and acronyms. To achieve our goal, we used a survey methodology conducted among people from different social groups and ages, in order to determine forms of oral speech and decipher abbreviations of the French daily press. Based on our research, we created a data table on the pronunciation of initialisms in French. The corpus elements and the survey conducted provide us with reliable data on the functioning, interpretation and decoding of abbreviated words in modern French. The survey results allow us to observe the fact that there are two main ways of using abbreviations in French: reading and spelling. Our analysis shows that the obligation to use reading to write an acronym depends, in part, on a number of formal conditions. One of these conditions is the syllable and phonetic structure of acronyms. In conclusion, based on the survey results, we describe the table and types of abbreviations in the corpus of our study.
Kalbotyra, Volume 74, pp 72-87; https://doi.org/10.15388/kalbotyra.2021.74.4
In this article we propose an alternative to the theories which subdivide the adjective into three major types (qualifier, relational, adjective of the third type), themselves subdivided into several subclasses. We believe instead that there is only one adjectival lexeme with different uses (unitary hypothesis). To do this, we start from the two ways of looking for the adjectival prototype: on the one hand, the abstract prototype built by accumulating criteria, on the other, the semantic prototype. We examine the behavior of occurrences of the abstract prototype (admirable, monumental) and the semantic prototype (grand) with respect to gradation, the attributive function (more specifically the place of the adjective) and the predicative function. The examples show not only that the two prototype models can be reconciled, but above all that the behavior and the meaning of any adjective depend in large part on the noun it qualifies, a result which confirms our unitary hypothesis. The syntactic-semantic dependence of the adjective on the supporting substantive is such that it can be concluded that the adjective is a syncategorematic part of speech, rather than a polysemous one.
Kalbotyra, Volume 74, pp 141-159; https://doi.org/10.15388/kalbotyra.2021.74.8
The dictionary Petit Robert leads a fight against both the single thought and the impoverished expression by offering a very broad vision of the practices of French. A certain number of anglicisms, very frequent among the new entries of this dictionary, are considered questionable, insofar as the prestige and the economic and techno-scientific power of the United States give rise to a wave of borrowed words, even when the lexicon has suitable French synonyms. The Petit Robert indicates which words in French are recommended by the Commission générale de la terminologie et de néologie to replace the anglicisms. The objective of this study is to observe the English words recently introduced in this dictionary and the different French equivalent terms proposed to oust them. Could the official recommendations supplant the loanwords and become fixed in practice?
Kalbotyra, Volume 74, pp 247-267; https://doi.org/10.15388/kalbotyra.2021.74.13
Based on the Corpus parallèle de Textes Littéraires (CTLFR-LT), consisting of French fiction texts and their translations into Lithuanian, the present article aims toshow the functional versatility of the French verb finir ‘to finish’. The paper focuses on the following particular constructions:S((in)anim) + finir + (GN);S((in)anim) + (en) finir de + V(inf);S ((in)anim) + finir par + V(inf);pour finir.While retaining its literal meaning, the verb finir ‘to finish’ exhibits a great range of modally marked uses. These uses, considered peripheral in the majority of French monolingual and bilingual grammars or dictionaries, nevertheless appear to be statistically very significant in the present dataset. The study shows that the verb finir ‘to finish’ can be used as a component of various constructions in which it loses its core lexical meaning and functions as an adverbial or discourse connector. The analysis of the data of the corpus Corpus parallèle de Textes Littéraires merely confirms the fact that the constructions under consideration can have a two-fold reading: the adverbial function of time and the function of a sentence adverbial.
Kalbotyra, Volume 74, pp 268-285; https://doi.org/10.15388/kalbotyra.2021.74.14
In this paper, we discuss the question of discourse markers (DM) – a category conceived differently by theoretical and applied linguistic approaches. Unlike in applied approaches, in which DMs are considered desemantized/grammaticalized lexical units devoid of their own semantics and therefore of status in the language, we consider DMs to constitute a full-fledged category of language, having its own semantics and distribution, both of which play a crucial role in the construction of discourse (Paillard 2011, 2012; Franckel 2008, 2019). This hypothesis has been developed in theoretical linguistics and has seen little evidence from a perspective of the acquisition and didactics of foreign languages. Based on cross-analysis of linguistic theories (Benveniste 1974; Ducrot 1980; Hopper & Traugott 1993; Culioli 1990,1999; Franckel & Paillard 2008) and on distributional analysis of data of the spoken corpora, we show that the absence of specific linguistic status for DMs has repercussions at the didactic and acquisition levels: DMs are generally approached in an ad hoc manner, all functions combined, which leads on the one hand to gaps in the acquisition of French and, on the other hand, to the ambiguity of criteria for evaluation. Therefore, at the level of applied linguistics, we suggest the integration of DMs in the learning path as a full category, an integration that must be carried out on several axes – semantic, syntax and prosodic – and be based on an authentic oral corpora of the spoken language. At the theoretical level, we use transversal analysis in order to give yet another argument in favor of a semantical-enunciative approach to discursive markers.
Kalbotyra, Volume 74, pp 221-246; https://doi.org/10.15388/kalbotyra.2021.74.12
This article aims to conduct a metalexicographical micro-analysis of a paradigm of French lexemes whose uses have raised socio-political issues for several decades: integration, insertion, assimilation, inclusion, even acculturation and incorporation. While many recent publications bring these terms into play as sociological concepts, or study their uses in political discourse, work on the semantic functioning and uses of these lexemes in other discourses is rarer. However, the recurrent nomination conflict that runs through French public policies on immigration shows that the stakes of these usages remain salient. Do French dictionaries make it possible to grasp the ideological issues raised by the competing uses of lexemes? How do they treat and model the abundance of uses of these lexemes? How are paradigmatic competitors related: opposition, contrast, synonymy, hyperonymy, co-hyponymy? What are the salient semantic features retained in the given definitions?The corpus selected for this study is composed of extracts from two generalist French-language dictionaries, the Petit Robert de la langue française and the Trésor de la Langue Française informatisé. I analyse the production of meaning at work by using a grid with four entries. First, I model and analyze the semantic relations established between the terms of the paradigm, relations which structure the paradigm. I then try to identify the semantic features which are similar or different between the lexemes, thus revealing another type of structure in the micro-system. Last, I work on the collocations and the agentive configurations implemented in the definitions and examples composing each article.All these analyses highlight a defining circularity that hinders a contrastive grasp of the lexemes, in a context where important social and political issues are at stake.
Kalbotyra, Volume 74, pp 49-71; https://doi.org/10.15388/kalbotyra.2021.74.3
This paper addresses the issue of polysemy, and more precisely of multiple meanings in the case of the words francophonie/francophone from the perspective of argumentative semantics. The aim of the paper is to examine the mechanisms that account for the multiple meanings of francophonie/francophone, i.e. the semantic and discursive mechanisms involved in the (re)construction of lexical meaning as the words occur in discourse. The data analysed in this paper consists of a set of discourse fragments about francophone identity, discourses that vary according to the speaker, the geographical location and the media support. The study is carried out within the framework of the SAP theory (Semantics of Argumentative Possibilities), following a procedure based on a pre-built reference meaning – i.e. a description of the argumentative potential of the lexeme – that will be used when analysing the discursive occurrences. First, the paper briefly presents the SAP theory and the pre-built reference meaning of the lexemes francophonie/francophone (described in terms of core-elements, stereotypes and argumentative possibilities). It then illustrates several discursive mechanisms of meaning construction. The analysis highlights a series of meaning construction mechanisms: transgressive activation of the argumentative potential, reconfiguration by scission of the core-elements or by deletion of one of the elements, modality addition, transgressive reconstruction of the core meaning, and finally core circularity. Thus, the paper indicates, from the perspective of argumentative semantics, that the multiple meanings of the words francophonie/francophone, i.e. the various semantic configurations attached to these words, can be seen as reconfigurations of a single lexical meaning.
Kalbotyra, Volume 74, pp 124-140; https://doi.org/10.15388/kalbotyra.2021.74.7
Since the end of the 1990s, research on discursive ethos – the image of the speaker which is projected by his or her utterance – has been very active in discourse analysis. It contributes to a better understanding of how an enunciation can attract the support of addressees. But in general, this research 1) focuses on isolated texts or individual speakers, not on discursive formations, 2) does not take into account the lexicon when it does not have clear ideological content. On the contrary, this article deals with the role played by some French polysemous adjectives (simple, doux, clair) to make the incorporation (Maingueneau 1999) of readers or listeners possible, to make them adhere to the universe of meaning that is proposed to them. This point of view is first illustrated by the study of an advertising text, before being applied to large discursive formations: a religious movement (“devout humanism”) of the first half of the 17th century; and, in the political field, two antagonistic positions in France under the French Third Republic (1870–1940): the handbooks of Republican School and the monarchist movement “l’Action Française”. We are led to conclude that adjectives, by their polysemy, “saturate discourse.” Through ethos, discourse does not only persuade by the ideas it delivers: it also sets the addressee in a speech scene that partakes of the semantic characteristics of the ideological universe that discourse aims to promote.
Kalbotyra, Volume 74, pp 182-197; https://doi.org/10.15388/kalbotyra.2021.74.10
The current paper examines the function of a specific construction comme je l’ai dit and its role in a particular type of oral discourse. The phrase occurs with high frequency in an established discursive genre, namely, debates in the European Parliament (EP). It is presented as a parenthetic construction, including elements with an anaphoric function, and endowed with a specific discursive aim. In order to better understand the raison d’être of this syntactically autonomous form in the specialized corpus, a mixed semantic-discursive approach is adopted. The aim of the study is to highlight the main properties of the construction bearing a particular functionality and to specify its status in discourse from the perspective of the active interlocutor.Given its rather simple morphological paradigm, its rather stereotypical enlargements, and its easy mobility, comme je l’ai dit reveals certain specificities of the referential process. The reference of the anadeictic type causes a sort of “duplication” of the object of discourse and also its reconfiguration. The return to the already said, with the aim of re-modeling it, is in fact accompanied by a re-saying, a repetition of the locutor’s own speech.The interrupting, the going back, the reworking and advancing, involved in the use of the analysed construction, seem to have several implications. The presence of comme je l’ai dit is justified by the speaker’s intention to construct relevant discourse that takes into account intralocutive and interlocutive dialogism. The interruption followed by a relaunch is a signal that redirects the attention of the interlocutor, while the repetition, which is a reminder of the already said, preserves the continuity of the discourse.The two processes set up by comme je l’ai dit, anaphoric reference and repetition, have the function of ensuring the coherence and the continuity of ongoing discourse through the tradeoff between saying, repeating and discursive memory. The importance of adjustments between speaker and interlocutor is the basis of the chosen discursive strategy. The functional perspective brings out the interpersonal aspect of the referential procedure.
Kalbotyra, Volume 74, pp 160-181; https://doi.org/10.15388/kalbotyra.2021.74.9
The present paper is based on the assumption that the language of the novel is characterized by a statistically relevant overrepresentation of certain linguistic units (e.g. lexemes, key words, collocations and colligations, Siepmann 2015). First steps towards checking the validity of this hypothesis had been undertaken in pioneering works in the 1990s/2000s (e.g. Stubbs & Barth 2003). These studies were however limited by the small size of their (exclusively English) corpora. The present study explores the role of some patterns (phraseological motifs) in distinguishing French literary subgenres. It also proposes a case study of some motifs related to the verbal (dire avec sourire ‘to say with a smile’) and non-verbal communication (adresser un sourire ‘to send a smile’). Unlike traditional corpus-stylistic analyses, which frequently focus on the style of a single author, our corpus-driven approach identifies lexico-syntactic constructions in literary genres which are automatically extracted from the corpora.The main purpose is to show the relevance of the notion of phraseological motif (Legallois 2012; Longrée & Mellet 2013; Novakova & Siepmann 2020) for the distinction of literary subgenres. Linking form and meaning, these ‘multidimensional units’ fulfil pragmatic as well as discursive functions.The data has been extracted from large French corpora of the PhraseoRom research project https://phraseorom.univ-grenoble-alpes.fr. They are accessible on http://phraseotext.univ-grenoble-alpes.fr/phraseobase/index.html and contain 1000 novels (published from the 1950s to the present), partitioned into six sub-corpora: general literature (GEN), crime fiction (CRIM), romances (ROM), historical novels (HIST), science fiction (SF) and fantasy (FY).The results of our study reveal some unexpected differences between the literary subgenres: e.g. the motif dire d’une voix ‘to say in a voice’ in HIST compared to GEN. In FY, expressions of verbal communication are related to shouting and screaming. Expressions related to the non-verbal communication (prendre dans ses bras ‘to take in one’s arms’) are specific to ROM, where body language is overrepresented. In SF, there is a very limited number of these types of expressions. More generally, the motifs provide the link between the micro level (phraseological recurrences) and the macro level (the fictional script).