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Le Web comme corpus et les expressions « figées » en français Ma, Lina Lai Ling


The objectives of this paper are twofold: the first is to illustrate the potential of the World Wide Web as a new or complementary resource for researching various linguistic phenomena, while the second objective is to apply the idea of the “Web as corpus” to a concrete example – in this case, the study of lexical variation in French idiomatic expressions. The first part of this paper examines the idea of using the World Wide Web as an exploitable corpus for linguistic research and provides an overview of related theoretical and practical issues. The major advantages and drawbacks of using the Web as a linguistic corpus are surveyed. Two different approaches to using the Web for corpus linguistics are also described. The latter half of the paper presents results of a small-scale study conducted to investigate lexical variation in seven selected French idiomatic expressions. An online concordancing tool called WebCorp is used to search the Web and generate concordances for analysis. The theory behind the notions of lexical frozenness and variation are also briefly discussed.

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