LA PASSIVITÉ DE LA DYNAMIQUE MOTIVATIONNELLE DANS LA FORMATION DES VOCABULAIRES GASTRONOMIQUES FRANÇAIS
Agadagba, Philip Igho
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The study of role of motivation in the formation of new vocabulary and terminological units, taking into account the semantic relationship that exists between linguistic signs and their referents, is not new. This is an area that has generated lots of discussions and debates over the years. There have been various philosophical, sociological, linguistic and terminological arguments that motivation is indispensable in the course of word formation in French and that it exercises enormous influence on the referents of new words. However, there are other arguments that consider motivation as a non - factor in the formation of new words and in assigning meaning to them. This opposing view argues that motivation does not deserve a special place because the principle of arbitrariness of the linguistic signs is indisputable. In the present day, linguists and terminologists, for sociocultural and historical reasons, are still interested in linking a linguistic signifier to the referent, thereby reaffirming the role of motivation in words and their meaning. Hence scholars like Giraud (1967), Kocourek (1991) and Panculescu (2005) share the opinion that almost all French words are motivated, especially compound words. In this study, we are interested in the characteristics of words that are described as motivated. In many cases, some of these words are not completely motivated with respect to the semantic relationship that exists between the signifier and the referent. Many compound words are either partially motivated or are figuratively or idiomatically motivated. Therefore, arbitrariness does not disappear completely from these words, especially in French culinary terms which constitute our area of focus. This work will therefore look into this partial arbitrariness or passivity, taking into cognizance the consequences that may arise from their interpretation. We will proffer suggestions on the explanation of these arbitrary motivations in the formation of new words. To achieve this, we draw upon the theory of word formation in Thiele (1987) and the linguistico-terminological approach of Cabré (1998) which both examine this phenomenon.