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Reviews261 In sum, the Workbook on Lexicography is a valuable contribution to the tools available for teaching the English dictionary. It will nicely complement and give structure to a program of lectures or a selection of readings. Stephen F. Lappert The University of Michigan Le Robert Méthodique, Dictionnaire Méthodique du Frangeais Actuel, Josette Rey-Debove (Editor-in-Chief), Editions Le Robert, Paris 1982. xxiii + 1533 + 84 pages, around $30. This is a fairly small dictionary. It will not replace the "Grand Robert" (Dictionnaire alphabétique, et analogique de la langue françcaise, 6 volumes and a supplement, 1954/1979), or even the "Petit Robert" (1 volume, 1964/1984). The prefatory matter of the Robert Méthodique (RM) announces 36,020 definitions. Its originality, then, is not its size; it is, rather, the fact that the entries are not only words (34,290), but also another linguistic category called "éléments" (roughly equivalent to "bound morphemes"), and the use of those elements are put to in the overall design of the dictionary. The authors explain (p. VII) that there are four categories of words: • simple words (e. g., feuille, porte, etc.) • compound words (e. g., portefeuille, etc.), made of (usually two or three) simple words. In RM, those are either sub-entries within the entry for one of the simple words (e. g., coffre-fort under coffre), with a cross-reference to the other(s), or are full entries (e. g., portefeuille), with cross-references to the simple words. 262Reviews • derived words (e. g., chlorure, etc.), made of simple words with one or two affixes (prefix and/or suffix). Those are either sub-entries within the entry for the simple word, with a cross-reference to the affixes (e. g., chloroforme under chlore, with a cross-reference to FORM-), or full entries with cross-references to the simple word(s) and to the affixes (e. g., chlorure, with a cross-reference to chlore and to -URE). • the last category, to which no particular name is given (we shall call them "complex words"), is made of affixes attached not to simple words but to radicals (e. g., célérité = célér- + -ité). Those are either full entries with cross-references to the affixes (e. g., abdiquer is cross-referenced to AB-) and to the radical (here DIC(T)-), or sub-entries within the entry for the radical (e. g., célérité under CELER-). Thus, both the radicals and the affixes are given full entry status; together, they constitute the category called "éléments". To be considered for inclusion, the authors explain, a radical must • enter into the composition of a certain number of words (though of course that number varies enormously, from a handful to several dozen; RM does not indicate the "fecundity" of the radicals, but there are many long lists that are left open) • have a meaning that can be traced in every single word in which it is used. Thus, there is a radical OSTREI-, as in ostréicole, ostréiculture, ostréiculteur, etc. A few other examples: IMPER- in impératif, impérativement, impérialisme, impérieux, etc.; ROG- in rogation, rogatoire, abroger, abrogation, arroger, déroger, dérogation, interroger, interrogation, interrogatoire, prérogative, prorogé, subrogé, etc. Radicals may be used in the beginning of words (e. g., DUBIT- in dubitatif), in the end (e. g., -PTYQUE in triptyque), or in the middle (e. g., -NONC- in annoncé). The authors wisely refrain from trying to differentiate clearly between radicals and affixes. Reviews263 There are cross-references from the complex words to the elements that constitute them (e. g., from correct to COand -REC(T)), and from the elements to the words (e. g., from -REC(T) to correct, direct, directoire, direction, érection, rectangle, recteur, rectifier, rectiligne, etc.). The dictionary is meant to be circular, that is, it contains "all the elements that analyze the words in the nomenclature" (p. vii). The most difficult task for the lexicographer must have been to decide which words would be analyzed, what the elements would be, and which words would be listed as simple words. The user of RM will find, here and there, interesting results: for...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2160-5076
Print ISSN
0197-6745
Pages
pp. 261-268
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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