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La science des astres à la cour de Charles V : comment cerner les néologismes dans un texte en ancien français ?

  • Publication type: Journal article
  • Journal: Neologica
    2013, n° 7
    . Revue internationale de néologie
  • Author: Schauwecker (Yela)
  • Abstract: If the notion of neologism is already difficult to define in the case of a modern language, it proves to be even more difficult when it comes to historical languages, such as Old French. Since on the one hand, we lack the data to distinguish spontaneous formations and hapaxes from creations which made their way from the level of speech (parole) to that of language (langue), all rare words or unique attestations are potentially unusual usages, thus potential neologisms. On the other hand however, it is not at all easy to identify neologisms in an Old French text, e.g. the astronomical and astrological texts written and translated on behalf of Charles V in the later 1360s. Even many of the usages marked by authors or scribes explicitly as estrange, i.e. “unusual” and “new,” turn out to be not French derivations from Latin roots, but Latin words forged together with French endings on a relatively fixed pattern (F. Duval, 2011, 508). Determining neologisms on grounds of dictionaries of the Ancient French language does not work either, because, especially when it comes to scientific writings, only a very small percentage of the available material had found its way into the dictionaries so far, and, what is more, supposed neologisms mostly turn out to be French adaptations of terms deeply rooted in the European discursive tradition. Thus, the only method that seems to yield reliable results is to consider the “social aspect” of the neologism—not in its original sense that lexical homogeneity for a given concept helps distinguish hapaxes from well-established lexical creations, but the other way round, since lexical variety seems to enable us to identify concepts for which a satisfying equivalent in Old French has not yet been found. In addition, analyses made of a choice of terms from the corpus seem to indicate that more neologisms tend to be found among astronomical terms than among astrological terms.
  • Pages: 87 to 103
  • Last edition: 2013
  • Journal: Neologica, n° 7

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  • ISBN: 978-2-8124-1260-8
  • ISSN: 1965-2542
  • DOI: 10.15122/isbn.978-2-8124-1261-5.p.0087
  • Publisher: Classiques Garnier
  • Parution date: 06-27-2013
  • Periodicity: Annual
  • Language: French
  • Keywords: neologism, astronomy, astrology, terminology, translation
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