Contemporary Francophone identity as reflected in the collocational differences within a corpus of French administrative texts

Anderson, W. (2002) Contemporary Francophone identity as reflected in the collocational differences within a corpus of French administrative texts. In: Contemporary Francophone Identities: An International Post Graduate Conference, Glasgow, UK, 19-20 Oct 2001,

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Abstract

This paper uses the methodology of corpus linguistics to investigate collocational differences between the discourses of European Union and 'hexagonal' French administrative language. My findings are based on a corpus of two million running words, one half of which is made up of European Union documents, the other half comprising national French government documents. Each part of the corpus is subdivided into a number of genres, including Presidency speeches, press releases, legislative texts, and reports. Two types of collocation are investigated. First, I look at 'locutions' or readily accepted phrases in French, drawing on Rey and Chantreau (1993). It is seen that while the administrative register draws relatively little on this phraseological resource, there are still clear differences between the two discourses. Secondly, I take a neo-Firthian approach to collocation (cf. Firth 1951, Sinclair 1991, Stubbs 1996), investigating the collocational patterning around keywords, defined either as sociologically important words (cf. Williams 1976, Firth 1935) or as statistically significant words in a corpus (cf. Scott 1997). This serves both to highlight the importance of collocation in the register of administrative French, and to show that discourse has a part to play in collocational differences.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Status:Published
Refereed:No
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Anderson, Professor Wendy
Authors: Anderson, W.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PC Romance languages
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics

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