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L'oral comme fiction.

Abstract : Specifically, I offer a comparison between the images of spoken language conveyed by a particular dramatic work (five plays by the Quebecois writer Michel Tremblay) and by a linguistic transcription (the Sankoff-Cedergren and Montreal 84 corpora). Two conclusions are drawn. First, systematically comparing the linguistic and literary corpora allows one to highlight the different constraints that shape the coding of orality, e.g. in the graphical, syntactic and discourse dimensions. Second, in the literary corpus, orality is more than a socio-linguistic parameter. It plays a rôle in the organization of narrative fiction. This shows that orality is doubly fictional, as a piece of social imagination about language and as a part of a given narrative and emotional universe.

Methodologically, I used the Weblex software (, which allows one to compare the various transcriptions of words and idioms typically found in spoken language and to uncover the technical or aesthetical choices of transcribers or writers. Moreover, the software helps extracting the linguistic profiles of characters and the stylistic changes in the intertwining of language and narrative fiction over thirty years (1968-1998).

Theoretically, the main question is what «filters» are used in representing spoken language. The present work argues that two requirements have to be met. (a) Linguistic categories have to be defined in a precise way, in order for researchers to build and exploit non-standard language corpora, be they transcriptions or literary works. (b) Linguistic description should be connected to a study of cultural and emotional factors, for a better understanding of the three components (linguistic, symbolic and aesthetic) that make up orality.
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Contributor : Mathilde Dargnat <>
Submitted on : Monday, March 12, 2007 - 12:15:50 AM
Last modification on : Monday, March 29, 2021 - 2:26:05 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-00136043, version 1


Mathilde Dargnat. L'oral comme fiction.. Linguistique. Université de Provence - Aix-Marseille I; Université de Montréal, 2006. Français. ⟨tel-00136043⟩



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