Metalinguistic Keyword Index:
       Explanatory Note and Commentary

[Return to keyword index] -- [Technical note]

The index gives access to the tokens of the principal indications of part of speech, semantic filiation and usage labels in the Sample Database. These last include functional labels (concerning either normal usage, or a general restriction of usage, whose nature -- semantic, syntagmatic or pragmatic -- is specified by other collocate formulae), level of language, diachronic usage, frequency and socio-professional domain (or technical usage). One-line, KWIC contexts are given for all classes; links from the KWIC contexts to the full text have been added for technical labels. For other classes, links are given in each KWIC display file to the TACTweb version of the Académie database, with the syntax necessary to request larger contexts for each keyword.

Technical usage labels become more numerous and precise with each succeeding edition, a consequence notably of an increasing codification of the text. Some of the frequency labels are absolute (peu usité, peu d'usage "little used"), others relative (quelquefois "sometimes", rarement sans "rarely without", plus rarement "more rarely", acceptions les plus usitées "most-used senses"). Only the former are included under the heading of frequency labels; the latter are put with the functional labels, since they are more concerned with the functioning of the headword.

Some words used in usage labels are polysemous: to take the example of guère "hardly", guère en usage and guère que are functional labels, while plus guère is a temporal label. The word usage is used in several different formulae: mot d'usage (normal), plus d'usage (temporal), peu d'usage (frequential), n'a d'usage que (functional restriction), point en usage (null usage).

The classification offered here is still approximate. It is mainly intended to be a tool for exploring the base.

The discussion of labels in the Dictionnaire de l'Académie makes use of: L. Dagenais, "Les marques d'usage de nature fonctionnelle: le Dictionnaire de l'Académie (1932-5, 1985)", to appear in the proceedings of the international colloquium on the Dictionnaire de l'Académie française (Paris, Nov. 1994); G. Godin, "L'appareil des marques d'usage dans le Dictionnaire de l'Académie française (8e éd., 1932-5)", master's dissertation (U. de Montréal, 1995).

Cf. T.R. Wooldridge & I. Leroy-Turcan, "Metalinguistic Keywords as a Structural Retrieval Tool for Early Dictionaries" et id., "Les Mots-clés métalinguistiques comme outil d'interrogation structurante des dictionnaires anciens".

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