Dictionnaire du français québécois. Description et histoire des regionalismes en usage au Québec depuis l'époque de la Nouvelle-France jusqu'à nos jours incluant un aperçu de leur extension dans les provinces canadiennes limitrophes (review)
- Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America
- Dictionary Society of North America
- Number 8, 1986
- pp. 272-279
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272Reviews Dictionnaire du français québécois. Description et histoire des regionalismes en usage au Québec depuis l'époque de la Nouvelle-France jusqu'à nos jours incluant un aperçu de leur extension dans les provinces canadiennes limitrophes. (Trésor de la langue française au Québec.) Rédacteurs principaux Lionel Boisvert, Marcel Juneau, Claude Poirier, et Claude Verreault, avec la collaboration de Micheline Massicotte. Volume de présentation sous la direction de Claude Poirier. Sainte-Foy: Les Presses de l'Université Laval, 1985. xlii + 169 pp. Can. $10.00. This volume describes the (by now quite progressed) project of the preparation of the edition of a dictionary of Quebec French; it presents an explanatory text (in a form that anticipates and is undoubtedly close to the future Introduction to the dictionary) and nearly eighty specimen entries. The dictionary will be a differential one in the sense that it will list every expression attested in Quebec French but absent from (today's) Standard French; thus, expressions that have either been lost in France or are obsolete or merely regional are listed if they occur in Quebec. For example, mais que, which frequently occurs in Quebec in the sense of 'when', was normal in France only from the thirteenth until the seventeenth century; loyer frequently has the meaning 'local d'habitation' in Quebec, whereas in France this meaning is now attested only in the Gascon dialect. Both expressions will be listed in the dictionary. This is a highly laudable principle of selection, which guarantees that the dictionary will not degenerate into a glossary of exotic regionalisms; at the same time, it will avoid the repetition of everything that is said in any monolingual dictionary of Standard French. Within these limits, the dictionary promises to deal exhaustively with French as used in Quebec, and there will be both a rich documentation of French as used in the other provinces of Canada and as much information about French as it is used in the United States (New England, Missouri, Louisiana) as there is at hand, although the latter two categories only insofar as they can be compared with Quebec French. (That is, there will be no independent entries for words attested, say, in Acadia but not in Quebec.) This policy is certainly reasonable: nobody can expect the editors to attempt exhaustiveness outside of Quebec. However, we must Reviews273 hope that the comparative evidence from other francophone areas will be as rich as possible, since it is not to be expected that the monumental efforts of these editors will soon be repeated elsewhere. Another desideratum, a much more modest one, is that the "other" francophone areas be defined in the dictionary; e.g., the relation of the terms "Acadia" and "Maritime Provinces" seems unclear. The geographical indications are rich and, within the boundaries of Quebec, highly specific and detailed, sometimes as specific as single census regions and their groups. They are sometimes accompanied by information such as that the use of the word is receding or that it is used by older speakers only; there is no need to stress the usefulness of such remarks. The documentation of the Quebec material is overwhelming. First, the sources are distributed into eight groups; typically, there are quotations from (1) (usually old) documents, (2) journals and periodicals, (3) "literature" (i.e., belles-lettres), (4) broadcast literature (mostly radio plays); (5) various more or less learned studies (history, botanies, zoology, etc.), (6) oral responses elicited by inquiries and field work, (7) oral literature. Particularly laudable is the fact that all such quotations of metalinguistic character (such as that in which a linguist or naturalist or belles-lettres author, etc., glosses or comments on a word) are listed separately: (8). Within each category, the quotations are chronologically ordered, with full citations. There are no examples or collocations or other lexical material coined by the editors, only attested occurrences. Not all attested passages are quoted, but the total number of occurrences contained in the dictionary 's files is given. The lemma of each entryword contains, besides its grammatical identification, a list of its variant spellings and pronunciations. Particularly the latter are frequently surprising, e.g., hurler, v...