- A recent article published in Scientific American was discussed in French on Le Monde.fr and in English in Science of us. It discusses studies about how morality varies according to the language we speak. It appears people are less sensitive when speaking in a foreign language. For more on the subject, see the Wikipedia page on the linguistic relativity debate.
- Français de nos régions blog offers a new presentation of words from the west of France! It presents areas where these words are used and discusses the semantic expansion of: tancarville, on n’est pas rendu (à Loches), débaucher, loger.
- Slate has published a long article Journalists don't seem to know it, but words have meaning about the work by Ingrid Riocreux about the media's use of language.
- Actualités of August have been translated into English and the Signpost of 29th September noted this publication. The Signpost is the oldest and most complete publication about wiki projects, and we are glad to see this translation step be highlighted.
|Synonym dictionaries are lexicographical works that lists words that are close by sense, without defining them. Few are available online for French. Main ones are Dictionnaire Électronique des Synonymes (DES) from the University of Caen, Dictionnaire des synonymes français (ISC) from the Institute of cognitive sciences of CNRS and Wordnet Libre du Français (WOLF) developed by a team from the University of Paris 7. During the WikiConvention francophone in August, Arkanosis presented a workshop on datamining and he showed the efficiency of his method (grep + python) to build a synonym dictionary from the Wiktionary. From the technical side of his method, see the slides of his presentation. Data obtained are shown on the right.
Thanks to the work done by the Wiktionary until now, it is possible to generate a synonym dictionary from data already available in just a few minutes. It contains more entries than its two direct competitors but the number of listed word relations is much lower, because it has not been built with this goal in mind. That is said, result is already interesting and may be edited as a numerical book in the future. And it will be possible to publish new editions when the Wiktionary grows up!
In other news, French Wiktionary has released a ranking of French words having the most synonyms mentioned in their page. When the number of synonyms is too high, they are gathered in a dedicated thesaurus.
From mid-August to mid-September (from August 20 to September 20) (Two updates have been merged)
- 12,074 entries have been added to French, and 2,775 citations. Now, there are 332,672 lemmas, 486,502 definitions and 303,265 citations.
- The three languages that have had the most entries added are Northern Sami (+ 3,642 entries), Czech (+ 1,272 entries) and Russian (+ 605 entries).
- Note that in the following paragraphs, language names are approximated translations from French; if you wish to correct translations of any of these names, you are welcome to edit this page. New languages within the project are: Komo (Bantu language) (+2), Gujarati (+1), Lo-Toga (+1), Lakon (+1), Lemerig (+1), Koro (Vanuatu) (+1), Mlabri (+1), Mising (+1), Mwerlap (+1), Mru (+1), Olrat (+1), Hiw (+1), Nume (+1), Lehali (+1), Volow (+1), Vera’a (+1) and Dorig (+1).
- The last month has seen the addition of 19,470 pages in at least 71 languages!
- New ISO codes in French Wiktionary are: komo (Bantu language) (code: kmw) and mamara (code: myk).
- The French Wiktionary now has entries in 4,025 languages!
- Wiktionary Quality: The entry prout is promoted as being a "good entry."
- Illustrated dictionary: French Wiktionary now includes 26,672 pictures, an increase of 129 since last month.
- French Wiktionary has 243 pages of thesauruses in French.
Dictionary of the month
How to begin... Henriette Walter is an extraordinary person, in addition to being a fantastic linguist. I have had the opportunity to meet her twice, and would very much like to discuss our Langues de France project with her, so that she might correct and direct our work. This venerable woman beams with intelligence and mischievousness whenever she speaks, and her books are of the highest quality. It is my great pleasure to present one of her signal works: "French, in every sense". This unpretentious book summarizes the history of the French language using many stories and anecdotes, both well-known and rare, and places this history in the context of the country that has seen not only the evolution of one language, but the appearance and disappearance of many others! If the history of the French language interests you, this book will give you an excellent start. Each claim that is cited is sourced at the end of the text; the bibliography is well-rounded and unbiased. The author is critical when critique is called for, and instructional when it is necessary for the reader to understand the significance of something. Her book is accessible to everyone, without this detracting from its quality as a tool for deeper exploration, and I think every Wiktionarian should have a copy.... What I find incredible is that despite Walter's criticism of the standardization of French and of the conservative thought of the French Academy, this masterpiece has received an award from the Academy! (Leading me to think that they were either more progressive 30 years ago, or they didn't read the book...) In any case, the book sheds a great deal of light on the origins of French by explaining the process of evolution that produced the words which make up the language. --— Lyokoï (Parlons ) 1 octobre 2016 à 15:21 (UTC)
This chronicle is an inventory of online videos about linguistics and the French language, in French. This month, only a few new ones.
- Langue de Cha’, who usually talks about linguistics, is interested this time by Internet and research, and she illustrates the definition of serendipité (serendipity) with the Wiktionary page.
- Linguisticae and Usulmaster have made together a long documentary about the uses of language for manipulation in politics.
Last month's top words
Stats provides words that have been modified by the most people in the past months. Here are the most modified words for August 2016! In superscript are the number of different editors:
- Le thésaurus chat en français 8 (created during the first LexiSession!)
- Le thésaurus cyclisme en français 5
- bouche en cul-de-poule5
- à mouchoir que veux-tu4 (created during a workshop during the WikiConvention francophone)
- Macquelines4 (creation)
- démonique4 (creation)
This month is the first one where stats show thesauruses among the most modified pages!
One of the concerns of living languages is to be receptive to modernity. This implies a capacity to create neologisms from loanwords. Among miscellaneous possible processes, the most elaborated consists in finding a word whose meaning and pronunciation looks like the loanword (phono-semantic match). Mandarin is a good example of this. Among others, there are:
- Coca-Cola: 可口可乐 (kěkǒukělè, "tasty and delicious") ;
- vitamin: 维他命 (wéitāmíng, "preserve one's life").
- व्याघ्र (vyāghrá, "tiger") — viagra (vigor + Niagara) — 伟哥 (wěigē, "big brother") itself making reference, by antonymy, to 小弟弟 (xiăodìdi, "little brother"), euphemism for "penis".
This month, two new lists have been created: Feminine words in French that can denote a man and Masculine words in French that can denote a woman. One may note that overall, transvestism of someone by a substantive has a pejorative connotation and may even be injurious.