Le traitement macrostructural de l'emprunt au français dans les dictionnaires locaux au Gabon

Edgard Maillard Ella


The Macrostructural Treatment of Borrowings from French in Local Gabo­nese Dictionaries.

Local populations often pragmatically borrow words from other languages, which they need in theirs. This applies mostly when two populations with different lan­guages come in contact as is the case with French and the local languages of Gabon. Borrowing is an unconscious process and an essential factor in the life of all the world's languages. This is why, although they are less numerous than local words, borrowed words are very common in their voca­bularies. Some of these borrowings are replaced by local terms when local populations become familiar with the concepts or things referred to by the foreign words. Some are retained as they are and others are morphophonologically modified in order to adapt to local lin­guistic characteristics. A dic­tionary is compiled in accordance with the users. This is why the lexi­cographer in his turn adopts this pragmatic approach so that the users will identify themselves with the finished work. During the macrostructural treatment when words to include as lemmas are chosen, he initially incorporates borrowings used by the local population. Gradually in revised and corrected editions, he will incorporate local terms which have replaced certain borrowings as well as morphopho­no­logical changes undergone by others. In this article, we want to suggest this pragmatic approach to persons who compile dictionaries in Gabon and who are often faced with the absence of many modern words in the local languages. This article goes against lexical crea­tion which is known as being a purist approach and which often proves to be laboured and dubious. We want to show that a pragmatic approach, which incorporates both approaches establishes a methodology, which pre­sents more advantages than a purist approach. The dialect Fang Ntumu of Bitam is used here as an example to support this article, which is suitable for all the other local languages of Gabon.


borrowing, dictionary, french, lexical creation, local lan­guages, pragmatic approach, puristic approach

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5788/23-1-1206


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ISSN 2224-0039 (online); ISSN 1684-4904 (print)

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