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Dissertation Information for Madeleine Anne Laliberte

- Madeleine Anne Laliberte

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- Case Western Reserve University (USA) (1977)

- Phyllis A. Richmond

- Conrad H. Rawski
- [Indecipherable1]
- Thomas Gleason Morris

MPACT Status: Complete - Except Indecipherables

Title: Selected grammatical and syntactical problems in adapting PRECIS to the French language

Abstract: PRECIS (PREserved Context Index system) is a subject indexing system devised mainly by Derek Austin and adopted for use in the British National Bibliography in 1971. Its inception was partly a result of classification research in the late 1960's and partly from linguistic research, including study of the sentential structure of English, After PRECIS had been developed successfully for English, the next step was to discover whether it might also be helpful in other languages. Some attempts at this were made in 1974, but the tempo has been increased recently and more serious work undertaken, especially with Germanic language and French.

The purpose of this study was to identify the main grammatical and syntactical problem which would occur in translating English PRECIS strings and entries into grammatically and syntactically correct French strings.

The research is limited to manual translation of English PRECIS strings. A literal translation was not considered acceptable unless it produced idiomatic French. Only pertinent grammatical and syntactical cases were utilized. After translating many examples, most of them without any problem, difficulties were found in six cases: 1) adjectives 2) lead parenthetical differences 3) prepositions followed by articles 4) geographical and political names 5) passive form 6) home-graphs.

When dealing with adjectives, a new code S f has been introduced to allow for the fact that French adjectives usually follow the noun. Another code S e was proposed in order to deal with the second element of a prepositional phrase (the term after the preposition itself) and obtain one entry under this important term. The parenthetical differences in French were treated the same way as in English but a cross reference was needed in French to avoid any loss of meaning. Regarding the prepositions followed by articles, special attention must be paid in French to the use of the correct articles, because French has more forms for the definite articles than English. The geographical and political names, like any other names in French, are feminine or masculine. Besides the problem of gender, some cases of the use or omission of the articles for the geographical and political names are different for French and English. Concerning the passive form, in French only the directly transitive verb can have a passive voice. A more neutral form, in active voice such as one beginning "on m'a dit", would tend to be used especially when the agent is not expressed. Homographs, which are different in each language, can present problems when building up a multilingual thesaurus. In French, besides the context, the gender and number, on some occasions, may been an indication of the meaning of a homograph.

In the course of making index entries, it turned out that there were generally fewer entries in French then in English. Cross references were used to compensate the lower number of entries, but it was still questionable whether or not a loss of information resulted.

This research is significant because this is the first theoretical study of PRECIS from a French language viewpoint, and it is the first use a bilingual methodology.

MPACT Scores for Madeleine Anne Laliberte

A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-04-09 14:40:18

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Students under Madeleine Anne Laliberte

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