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BY 3.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter 2018

Ludicity in lexical innovation (I) – French

From the book Expanding the Lexicon

  • Esme Winter-Froemel


The aim of this paper is to explore the importance of the ludic dimension for linguistic innovations by combining synchronic and diachronic analyses of lexicographic sources from French and by reinterpreting the data from a usage-based perspective. I will discuss the possibilities and methodological challenges in tracing ludicity in the lexicon, taking into account contemporary and historical dictionaries, most importantly Le Petit Robert 2016 and different editions of the Dictionnaire de l’Academie francaise. Moreover, I will analyse how innovations are introduced and perceived by speakers, distinguishing different subtypes of innovation based on structural, semantic, and pragmatic features. Finally, I will turn to the diachronic evolution of ludic innovations in order to identify general tendencies and pathways of evolution and argue that markedness plays a key role for ludic innovation, which represents an important, albeit so far neglected, domain of lexical dynamics.

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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