Diachronic corpora

  • Hélène BLONDEAU (Floride, Etats-Unis)
    No salvation outside THE norm ? The Montreal study of variations in hypothetical si-clauses
    2012, Vol. XVII-1, pp. 55-66

    Through the panel study of twelve Montrealers from 1971 to 1995, this article examines the variation between the conditional and the imperfect morphology in hypothetical si-clauses. The two variants, well in place in the spoken French implicit norms system, are in opposition when given values in the normative debate. The analysis indicates the influence of the distance and the event potentiality. Due to vacillations in usage frequency according to the year, the study cannot confirm the hypothesis of a change in favor of the conditional morphology. This case study documents the individual variation across the lifespan and its connection to community change.

  • Philippe BOULA DE MAREÜIL (Paris Sud)
    Diachronic variation in the prosody of French news announcer speech: changes in word initial accent
    2012, Vol. XVII-1, pp. 97-111

    This study addresses prosodic evolution in the French news announcer style, based on acoustic analysis of French audiovisual archives. A 10-hour corpus covering six decades of broadcast news is investigated automatically, focusing on word-initial stress, which may give an impression of emphatic style. Objective measurements suggest that the following features have decreased since the forties: mean pitch, pitch rise associated with initial stress, and vowel duration characterising an emphatic initial stress. The onsets of stressed initial syllables have become longer while speech rate (measured at the phonemic level) has not changed. This puzzling outcome raises interesting questions for research on French prosody, suggesting that the durational correlates of word-initial stress have changed over time, in the French news announcer style.

  • Maria de Lourdes CRISPIM (Lisbonne, Portugal)
    Building and using a corpus of medieval Portuguese
    1999, Vol. IV-1, pp. 41-45

    In this article, the authors describe first how the Corpus of Medieval Portuguese has been constitued, in particular how it has been coded ; secondly, an attempt will be made at demonstrating how it can be used for the construction of a dictionary of medieval Portuguese, more specifically of its verbs, proper and common nouns.

  • Pascaline DURY (Lyon 2)
    Terminology and diachrony: towards a theoretical and methodological reconciliation
    2009, Vol. XIV-2, pp. 31-41

    Terminology has conventionally been biased in favour of synchrony and most studies carried out in the field have remained fixed on specialised language at a point in time. After having listed the possible reasons for the lack in the production of diachronic accounts of specialised languages, we shall discuss new developments, in the theory as well as in the methodology, of what may be called “modern” terminology. We will then show that the use of corpus linguistics and computer science has undoubtedly helped “modern” terminology to focus more on corpus provision and study in diachrony. We will finally show that a lot remains to be done for diachrony to join synchrony as a major interest of study in terminology, making it an area ripe for growth.

  • Céline GUILLOT (ENS-LSH Lyon)
    Les corpus de français médiéval : état des lieux et perspectives
    2007, Vol. XII-1, pp. 125-128
  • Serge HEIDEN (ENS LSH Lyon)
    Electronic aids in studying medieval texts: methods and tools
    2004, Vol. IX-1, pp. 99-118

    Two approaches to the development of medieval text corpora can be distinguished among the projects carried out since a few decades. The first one consists of digitizing modern critical editions, and the second one is concerned with the production of precise diplomatic transcriptions of manuscripts, often directly linked to the photographs of the originals. These approaches are in fact complementary rather than contradictory, as they make it possible for scholars to choose between the quantity (representativeness) and the quality (accuracy and richness) of the data depending on the goals of their research. For both types of corpora, the challenges of their XML-TEI encoding related to the tools of their processing and analyzing are considered. Many methodological problems which arise from creating and processing medieval text corpora also concern other types of linguistic corpora.

  • Richard INGHAM (Birmingham, Grande-Bretagne)
    Anglo-Norman and the ‘plural history’ of French: the connectives pourtant and à cause que
    2011, Vol. XVI-2, pp. 107-119

    Localised and dated administrative documents and other such textual resources in three Anglo-Norman electronic corpora provide a new perspective on variation in pre-modern French. They may offer insights into important aspects of spatial and register variation across time. These new resources allow for a better-informed picture of semantic-pragmatic changes in the history of French than is available in traditional approaches favouring the development of francien and standard French. It is shown here that the the connectives pourtant et à cause que appear in Anglo-Norman with their present-day meanings well before the dates proposed in historical reference dictionaries. Frequent data occurrences available from Anglo-Norman texts of the XIVth century will facilitate the investigation of the beginnings of semantic changes in post-medieval French lexis.

  • Christiane MARCHELLO-NIZIA (ENS)
    Diachronic Corpora
    1999, Vol. IV-1, pp. 31-39

    After having reminded what distinguishes a database from a corpus, the author of the present article gives a rapid overview of the most important documentary sources that exist today in the domain of French diachrony, after which she demonstrates first, what use can be made of them thanks to a series of tools available today, and second, and more important, how the access to large corpora allow us to review our analysis of linguistic facts, and invites us to a qualitative change in our linguistic reasoning.