Past issues

1999-2L'oral spontané
(Spontaneous oral language)
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  • Jim MILLER (Edimbourg, Grande-Bretagne)
    Magnasyntax and syntactic analysis
    pp. 7-20

    Theoretical work in syntax is based mainly on written language. This means that theories of first language acquisition such as the Chomskyan one are based on a model of syntax relating to written language. But children acquire spontaneous spoken language first and only later learn written language. In spite of recent intensive research on spontaneous spoken language even analysts who distinguish planned and unplanned language and different dimensions of syntax and lexis fail to recognise the extent of the syntactic differences between formal written language and spontaneous unplanned spoken language. Ong proposed the label 'magnavocabulary' for the store of lexical items to be found in written texts composed in any language with a long written history. 'Magnasyntax' is proposed as a label for the parallel syntactic phenomenon; constructions from written texts are recorded in grammars and can be used/revived by writers and analysed by grammarians. Much syntactic theory focuses on magnasyntax. This focus on magnasyntax and the failure to distinguish constructions from different periods of a given language and from different genres is illustrated in two pieces of work on English syntax, Van der Auwera's discussion of whether 'that' introducing relative clauses is a complementiser or pronoun and Quirk and Greenbaum's discussion of IT clefts.

  • Mireille BILGER & Claire BLANCHE-BENVENISTE (Perpignan / Aix-en-Provence)
    Français parlé-oral spontané. Quelques réflexions
    (Some thoughts on spontaneous spoken French)
    pp. 21-30

    After reviewing certain customary considerations concerning the written-spoken division, the present paper attempts to demonstrate that when we take into account the data provided by French corpora we are obliged to qualify the terms of the contrast and to considerer in a new light the relations between language users and their language.

  • Mylène BLASCO-DULBECCO, Paul CAPPEAU & Marie SAVELLI (Clermont-Ferrand / Poitiers / Grenoble)
    Preuves à l'appui : les relations entre les données et l'analyse
    (Proven relationships between data and analysis)
    pp. 31-40

    More often than not, oral data differ from written data both from a frequential and distributional point of view. They lead to a sharpening of the description as they supply us with construction characteristics or contexts that do not exist in writing.Dislocations and the form 'il y a', known to be lavishly used in the oral language, provide us with often predictable examples regarding their distributional characteristics as well as their function in textual dynamics.Although 'certains' as a subject is not much used in spoken language, its offers a variety of distribution facts which are also clearly divided and actually related to the kind of observed corpus.The following article therefore aims at presenting us with three case studies that are representative of the relationship between data and analysis.

  • Catherine KERBRAT-ORECCHIONI (Lyon 2)
    L'oral dans l'interaction : une liberté surveillée
    (Oral language in interaction: restricted freedom)
    pp. 41-55

    In this article, the author begins by mentioning three basic properties of oral discourse (two of them contrasting drastically oral discourse with written discourse) : 1. usally, it is fresh talk, 2. which is built collectively, 3. and which is governed by different kinds of rules. Then she shows that the application of these rules gives rise to negotiations between participants, giving some examples of such negociation mechanisms (concerning the negotiation of the words that are exchanged, the script of the interaction, and the interpersonal relationship). As a conclusion, she emphasizes the necessity of studying oral discourse as an interactive achievement.

  • Philippe MARTIN (Toronto, Canada)
    L'intonation en parole spontanée
    (Intonation in spontaneous speech)
    pp. 57-75

    The description of intonation is particularly difficult for spontaneous speech, due to the extreme variability of data. This forced many phoneticians to describe intonation through the use of sophisticated statistic tools, whereas phonologists convinced themselves to use reductive transcription tools such as ToBI. We show here that intonation models built for read speech data can be used successfully for the analysis of spontaneous speech, which after all uses the same linguistic code as read speech production. The experimental data presented illustrate the diversity of speaker strategies to orally structure their sentences, still using the same prosodic rules specific to French as in read speech conditions.

  • Emmanuela CRESTI & Valentina FIRENZUOLI (Florence, Italie)
    Illocution et profils intonatifs de l'italien
    (Illocution and intonation patterns in Italian)
    pp. 77-98

    The prominence of the concept of utterance has emerged from some recent grammars based on corpora of speech. This paper deals with a new definition of utterance as the realization of an illocutionary value and on the ground of the hypothesis of an existing equivalence between units belonging to the field of human actions (acts) and linguistic units (utterances). Furthermore it is proposed a definition of illocution, which diverges from that of Searle. This kind of definition brings to a new taxonomy of illocution on an attitudinal ground (affect) and on the basis of pragmatic, semiologic and cognitive features. Results of experimental researches on speech corpora are provided: with the recognition of the existing equivalence between utterance and illocution it is possible to verify the concrete variation of acts and to identify intonational contours which are singularly devoted to the expression of illocution. This brings to the formulation of a first repertoire of intonational contours with illocutionary value. Some of these contours, studied on the basis of this theoretical approach, are showed.

  • Caterina FALBO (Trieste, Italie)
    Interprétation : une forme particulière d'oralité
    (Interpreting: a special form of orality)
    pp. 99-112

    Conference interpreting is a particular form of orality. Placed at the core of communication between a speaker and his/her audience, the interpreter is, at the same time, text producer and receiver. In his/her function as linguistic and, above all, cultural mediator, the interpreter produces an interpreted speech on the basis of an original speech ; hence the subordinate nature of his/her role. The orality of the source text (original speech) and of the target text (interpreted speech) has been, to this day, the Cinderella of interpreting studies. In terms of both quantity and quality, results obtained so far do not yet enable us either to provide a comprehensive description of orality in interpreting, or to compare and contrast it with other forms of oral language.

  • André VALLI & Jean VÉRONIS (Aix-en-Provence)
    Etiquetage grammatical des corpus de parole : problèmes et perspectives
    (Grammatical labeling of corpora of spoken language: problems and perspectives)
    pp. 113-133

    The use of transcription conventions that attempt to code the specific properties of speech, such as false starts, hesitations, and repetitions, and do not rely on the usual written punctuation, suggests that the grammatical tagging of transcribed oral corpora might be a very difficult undertaking. Developing speech-specific taggers, although desirable, would be a long-term project. In the experiment reported in this article, a spoken corpus was tagged using a system designed for written text, along with some appropriate pre-editing and post-editing programs. Quite unexpectedly, the results for speech were excellent, almost as good as those previously obtained for writing. This discovery allows us to foresee the rapid compilation of large tagged spoken corpora for French.

Book reviews
  • Dictionnaires bilingues. Méthodes et contenus, de T. Szende (éd.)
    par L. Depecker
    pp. 135-137
  • Des termes et des choses. Questions de terminologie, de C. Schaetzen (de) (éd.)
    par L. Depecker
    pp. 137-138
  • Quelques ouvrages de référence en sociolinguistique
    par N. Gueunier
    pp. 138-140