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LINGUIST List 16.2293

Sat Jul 30 2005

Qs: Culture-bound Expressions;Database of French Words

Editor for this issue: Jessica Boynton <jessicalinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Anel Isaeva, Cultural References / Culture-bound Expressions
        2.    Bruce Anderson, Public Database of French Words

Message 1: Cultural References / Culture-bound Expressions
Date: 27-Jul-2005
From: Anel Isaeva <anelinbox.ru>
Subject: Cultural References / Culture-bound Expressions


1. I'm trying to find out if the works on cultural references exist in
English or French.

By cultural references I mean names, phrases, dates, quotations that evoke
certain associations for people of one particular nation or social group -
for example, Ivy League (associations: Harvard, elitism etc) or ''I have a
dream'' (Martin Luther King) for the Americans, 1968 for the French and a
different 1968 for the Czech.

There is a recent theory in Russia which studies such references as a
system (a very brief summary at

But I have huge problems trying to find at least remote equivalents of this
theory or its terminology in English.

Honestly, I feel lost between the Anthropology, Sociolinguistics,
Pragmatics and Applied linguistics shelves in the library. Every branch
seems to be interested in the relationship between language and culture, as
well as intercultural communication, but neither seems to study cultural
references as such.

2. Could you recommend a dictionary of linguistic terms that would trace
the history and give different interpretations of terms? I'm using
R.E.Asher's 10-volume Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics at the
moment, but really need some reliable dictionary , listing terms in
alphabetical order.

Thank you in advance!

Anel Isaeva, Moscow.

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics
Applied Linguistics

Subject Language(s): English (ENG)
French (FRN)
Message 2: Public Database of French Words
Date: 11-Jul-2005
From: Bruce Anderson <bruce-andersonrogers.com>
Subject: Public Database of French Words

Masculine/Feminine in French has been driving me nuts for 40+ years & I'd
like to build a program to drill myself on the gender of french nouns.

To do that, I need to find an appropriate word list that includes, as a
minimum, part of speech and gender. The list should be something that I
can process in Visual Basic or MS Access (i.e. a text list, a CSV or a
simple database). Size is an issue unless there is some indication of how
frequently the word is found (i.e I'd like to concentrate on more common
words and leave out obscure ones). I'm guessing that a list with between
2,000 and 20,000 nouns would be perfect.

Of course, if there were more information, I wouldn't complain :-)

I already have computerised dictionaries (e.g. Le Petit Robert) but they do
not permit programmatic access to their contents.

Does anyone know where to find such a list/database?

Thanks in advance,
Bruce Anderson

Linguistic Field(s): Lexicography

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