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Observing Norm, Observing Usage

Lexis in Dictionaries and the Media


Edited By Alessandra Molino and Serenella Zanotti

This volume includes a collection of studies on the interplay between norm and usage in lexis, which is explored by looking at both dictionaries and the media. The title features the polysemous verb to observe, which is used both in the sense of «investigating» use/usage and in that of «respecting» norms. This thematic area is analysed from a synchronic perspective focusing predominantly on the lexis of four European languages, namely English, French, Italian and Spanish, although other languages are occasionally referred to (e.g. Catalan and Danish). The volume comprises nineteen chapters, which provide a wide-ranging, but deeply focused overview of the complex and challenging interrelation between sites and processes of norm formation and the recontextualization, reconfiguration and re-creation of those norms. The book is structured in four thematic sections, which focus on the norm-setting role of dictionaries, the importance of authentic language use in recent lexicographic products, the impact of the Web on language usage as well as on the processes of norm creation and diffusion, and the impact of mass-mediated communication on lexis.
The volume contains contributions in English, French, Italian and Spanish.
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De quelques considérations sur la qualité de la langue et sur la situation linguistique actuelle au Québec



The language question is a recurring subject in the history of Quebec (Plourde/ Georgeault 2008) and articles published in Le Devoir, a daily newspaper published in Montreal, put back on the agenda the controversy about the opportunity of imposing in Quebec a language norm different from the international norm. Central to this debate is the question regarding dictionaries: the history of Quebec lexicography is significant in the development of the linguistic conscience of Quebecers. At the moment, there is no general dictionary which represents the language use in Quebec. On the other hand, although certain dictionaries are more open right now to the Quebec variety (an increase in Quebec linguistic facts retained, for example, by Le Petit Robert can be observed), these dictionaries still do not reflect the sociolinguistic reality of present-day Quebec in an adequate manner (Galarneau/Verreault 2009).


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