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LINGUIST List 18.853

Wed Mar 21 2007

Diss: Discourse Analysis/Ling & Lit/Text&Corpus Ling: Dargnat: 'L'o...'

Editor for this issue: Hunter Lockwood <hunterlinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Mathilde Dargnat, L'oral comme fiction / Orality as fiction

Message 1: L'oral comme fiction / Orality as fiction
Date: 18-Mar-2007
From: Mathilde Dargnat <mathilde.dargnatfree.fr>
Subject: L'oral comme fiction / Orality as fiction

Institution: University of Provence (F) and University of Montreal (CA)
Program: Linguistics and Literary Studies
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2006

Author: Mathilde Dargnat

Dissertation Title: L'oral comme fiction / Orality as fiction

Dissertation URL: http://mathilde.dargnat.free.fr/index_fichiers/pageaccueilthese.html

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
                            Ling & Literature
                            Text/Corpus Linguistics
                            Writing Systems

Dissertation Director:
Lise Gauvin
Marie-Christine Hazaël-Massieux

Dissertation Abstract:

How do people construct a representation of spoken language in linguistic
transcriptions and dramatic art? Is that representation stable? These two
questions underlie the present dissertation.

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
(http://weblex.ens-lsh.fr/wlx/), 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 and two non parametrical statistical tests (Welch
and Fisher tests) help 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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