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Maître de Conférences

Chris Smith (Christine Anne Smith)

Research profile

My main field of study and area of interest is lexical semantics, i.e. the study of word meaning, both from a synchronic and a diachronic approach. I am especially interest in iconicity in language, and its role in language change. Sound symbolism, and phonesthemes in particular, have been, and still remain, a very intriguing linguistic issue. The challenge faced today in linguistics is a fascinating one: given the availability of unprecedent quantities of data in the form of electronic corpora, coupled with very sophisticated tools for determining semantic behaviour, the landscape of lexical semantics has profoundly changed. My work focuses on usage-based corpus linguistic approaches to semantics, both in special phonesthestic word forms, and in linguistic expressions in general. My research currently focuses on three main strands. I am continuing to develop ways in which to prove the existence of phonesthemes, and determine how they affect lexicographic material (such as the OED). Secondly, I am pursuing language change studies using collocational analysis to determine patterns of change in English, including in particular metonymy and metaphor. Finally, I continue to be fascinated by the advances in cognitive linguistics, and in particular embodied semantics, how semantics is shaped by our experience of the world, and hope to test the theory on usage-based corpus data.

KEY WORDS: lexical semantics, embodied semantics, mental lexicon, corpus linguistics, language change, mental lexicon

Academic social networks

Research gate
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Publications and Communications

2016 (accepted for publication) Tracking semantic change in fl- monomorphemes in the OED. Journal of Historical Linguistics, John Benjamins: Amsterdam.

2015 The collocational behaviour of no doubt in the OEC and the EEBO. Presentation at Crisco, Université de Caen. 24 September 2015. Publication to follow.

2015 The phonesthetics of blends ; a lexicographic study of cognitive blends in the OED. Exploration in English Language and Linguistics, ExELL vol 2.1. 4/5/2015.

2011. Double whammy! The dysphemistic euphemism implied in unVables: pluralia tantum deverbal nominalised adjectives such as untouchables, unspeakables, unprintables, unmentionables, published in the journal Lexis 7. (abstract) 2010. The phonaesthetics of blends in English, paper presented at the Conference on Blending in Morphological Theory at Lyon 2 University, France. (abstract) 2008. A Constructivist approach to substantivized adjectives, paper presented at a CRISCO Conference, Université de Caen.

Concours and examinations

ENS LSH concours d’entrée: jury de thème 2007-2011 Agrégation d’anglais jury de linguistique à l’ écrit 2012-2016, et à l’oral 2014-2016 Préparation de phonologie agrégation @UniCaen, cours de thème littéraire @ENS Cachan, cours de préparation à l’épreuve oral de commentaire linguistique, et EHP @ l’ENS Cachan et Unicaen.

Attached documents