Past issues

2015-1Le lexique : description et apprentissage
(Descriptive and applied approaches to lexis)
Click the book to abstract!This issue has been put on line in its integrality on the Cairn portal:
  • Présentation
    pp. 5-7
  • Michel MOREL & Jacques FRANÇOIS (CNRS-CRISCO, Université de Caen / CNRS-LaTTICe, ENS Paris III)
    Le Dictionnaire Electronique des Synonymes du CRISCO : un outil de plus en plus interactif
    (The CRISCO Electronic Dictionary of Synonyms: an increasingly interactive tool)
    pp. 9-28

    The CRISCO Electronic Dictionary of Synonyms (DES) was conceived twenty years ago as a tool for investigating word polysemy. The inventory of an entry’s synonyms was viewed as a medium for identifying synonym clusters, so-called synonym cliques, which help in representing the multidimensional semantic space of that entry. The DES was used by a small number of researchers to that end. Gradually, however, the dictionary has gained the attention of an ever-growing number of Internet users interested in the subtleties of French vocabulary. DES administrators encouraged these new users to put forward additions and modifications, leading to the emergence of a spirited community of DES users that is now ten years old.

  • Carlos MELÉNDEZ QUERO (Université de Lorraine)
    El tratamiento lexicográfico de las partículas discursivas : dificultades y propuestas
    (Lexicographic treatment of discourse particles in Spanish: problems and proposals)
    pp. 29-44

    In the present paper we offer some reflexions on the lexicographic study of discourse particles. Setting out from the analysis of emotive evaluative Spanish adverbs, we try to emphasize the difficulties with dictionary use for the learning of the discourse functions of these units. Following a presentation of the dictionaries’ contributions, we suggest a method for the lexicographic definition and explanation of the given words in terms of discursive instructions and communicative intentions. This model enables us to resolve certain problems and to illustrate the principal similarities and differences between analogous evaluative expressions.

  • Sandra DE CALDAS (Université Paris 8)
    Processus de création lexicale en français et en portugais contemporains dans le domaine de l’économie et de la finance
    (Contemporary French and Portuguese lexical creation processes in the field of economics and finance)
    pp. 45-60

    Neology is a creative and innovative phenomenon which contributes to the evolution of languages, from a general perspective and in terms of specialized usage. The formation of new lexical and terminological units becomes an individual and collective conscious process. This article presents a comparative study of language enrichment process through neonyms in (European) Portuguese and (hexagonal) French, extracted from a corpus of comparable texts in French and Portuguese taken from press sources (since 2010) in the field of economics and finance. The first part of this paper is devoted to a preliminary theoretical presentation of language enrichment and lexical creativity. We then go on to explain, in the second part, the main observed neological processesusing concrete examples.

  • Adam KILGARRIFF, Fredrik MARCOWITZ, Simon SMITH & James THOMAS (Brighton, Grande-Bretagne / Coventry University, UK / Masaryk University, CZ)
    Corpora and Language Learning with the Sketch Engine and SKELL
    pp. 61-80

    We introduce the idea of using corpora – the linguist’s name for ‟big data” – in language research, and sketch its history, first in linguistics in general, then in language learning and teaching.We then take a careful look at the hazards of using corpora in language learning, and arrive at some maxims for when and how they have a place: firstly,don’t scare the students; then, use the corpus when the dictionary does not tell you enough, and moreover, disguise the corpus as a dictionary.We then introduce Sketch Engine, and show how it implements these ideas through SKELL, its language-learner interface.We show how corpora can be used, both in the classroom, and in the background, for syllabus design, where we have used corpora of learner output to identify patterns of overuse and underuse, with implications for what needs teaching.

  • Veronika BENIGNO, Francis GROSSMANN & Olivier KRAIF (Pearson / Université Grenoble-Alpes)
    Les collocations fondamentales : une piste pour l’apprentissage lexical
    (Fundamental collocations: suggestions for learning lexis)
    pp. 81-96

    Following the pioneering work of Gougenheim and his team in the 1950s, pedagogical frequency lists have received much attention in France and elsewhere. However, research has mainly focused on single lexical items, whereas the role played by high-frequency phraseological units, i.e. units functioning as independent lexico-grammatical chunks, has been neglected. In this paper we describe the relationship between frequency and native speakers’ judgements in order to determine the basic character of phraseological units; additionally, we show that individual judgements seem to be affected by the degree of fixedness between the components of such units. In the last section we discuss some pedagogical implications derived from a corpus-based study in the domain of  ‘social events’.

  • Alise LEHMANN (Université de Picardie)
    Le Robert Brio : un outil pour l’acquisition lexicale
    (Using the Robert Brio dictionary for acquiring lexis)
    pp. 97-106

    Lexical morphology is barely attended to in the teaching of vocabulary in primary schools. If and when it is addressed, it is generally via derivation and composition and, unfortunately, looking to exploit pupils’ etymological knowledge which is inexistent. This article proposes to present to Robert Brio dictionary (2004). This dictionary, which is relatively unknown, allows an alternative means of studying morphology: without recourse to classical languages and using a comparative approach to analyzing words. This article is divided into three sections: theoretical (presentation of the theoretical and methodological options of the Robert Brio), lexicographical, pedagogical (discovery of patterns favouring in particular the acquisition of lexical spelling).

  • James MILTON (Swansea University)
    French lexis and formal exams in the British foreign language classroom
    pp. 107-120

    In a study carried out 10 years ago Milton (2006) concluded that the volumes of vocabulary taught in UK French classes were very small, so small that it seemed impossible to achieve the communicative aims of the National Curriculum. Since then the proportions of students taking milestone exams at age 16, and who get top grades, has increased. Does this mean that the standards for knowledge in French have improved or has the standard of the exam altered? Measuring the knowledge of French vocabulary in schools can help shed light on this since vocabulary knowledge is closely connected with overall performance in a foreign language and can be measured objectively. This study repeats the Milton (2006) study with learners in the same school. Results suggest that the vocabulary knowledge of learners at both age 16 and age 18 has not changed. Since the same knowledge is rewarded with higher grades in national exams, this implies that grade inflation is occurring and that the exams are becoming easier over time.

Book reviews
  • Des documents authentiques aux corpus. Démarches pour l'apprentissage des langues, de A. Boulton & H. Tyne
    par J. Delahaie
    pp. 121-122
  • Interpéter pour traduire, de M. Lederer & D. Seleskovitch
    par A. Widlund-Fantini
    pp. 122-123
  • Le développement d'aspects phonético-phonologiques du français chez des enfants bilingues simultanés et successifs : Le VOT et la liaison dans une étude de cas multiples, de F. Splendido
    par E. Shoemaker
    pp. 123-126