Word-formation in English-French bilingual dictionaries: the contribution of bilingual corpora

By November 17, 2016,
AuthorMarie-Aude Lefer
TitleWord-formation in English-French bilingual dictionaries: the contribution of bilingual corpora
AbstractResearch on the representation of word-formation in dictionaries is scarce and tends to be restricted to learners’ dictionaries and monolingual dictionaries intended for native speakers. Nor is the issue of word-formation in bilingual dictionaries often discussed in lexicographic studies. This study, intended as a step on the way to rectifying the situation, reports the results of a comparison of the strategies adopted in four influential English-French dictionaries, focusing more particularly on derivational prefixes. The study shows that prefixes and word-initial elements in general receive very scant treatment in English- French dictionaries, which seems hardly justifiable when one thinks of the major role they play in the interpretation and translation of complex words. In my presentation I will highlight and illustrate a number of shortcomings, such as the lack of consistent criteria for the selection of affix entries and the misrepresentation of affix polysemy. More importantly, the presentation will also show how bilingual dictionary-making could benefit from bilingual corpora (both comparable and translation corpora) to improve the description of word-formation. I will propose a corpus-based list of the most productive and frequent prefixes in English and French. This list would seem to be a promising starting point for selecting more systematically and more rigorously the affixes to be included as headwords in bilingual dictionaries. To illustrate the usefulness of corpus data, I will also present a model bilingual entry for the French prefix dé– based chiefly on data extracted from an English-French translation corpus.
SessionBilingual Lexicography
author = {Marie-Aude Lefer},
title = {Word-formation in English-French bilingual dictionaries: the contribution of bilingual corpora},
pages = {810-823},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 14th EURALEX International Congress},
year = {2010},
month = {jul},
date = {6-10},
address = {Leeuwarden/Ljouwert, The Netherlands},
editor = {Anne Dykstra and Tanneke Schoonheim},
publisher = {Fryske Akademy},
isbn = {978-90-6273-850-3},