Interprétation des insultes et relations de solidarité

Translated title of the contribution: Interpretation of insults and relations of solidarity

Dominique Lagorgette, Pierre Larrivée

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article focuses on the empirical domain of the solidarity uses of certain insults in different varieties of French (standard, Quebec, Burgundy) from diachronic and synchronic points of view. Solidarity uses refers to the usage of axiological terms as terms of endearment to mark social proximity between subjects. This value is signalled by morphosyntactic, prosodic and mimeo-gestural features indicating the speaker's disposition towards the addressee. These psychological and social parameters conspire to attenuate the axiological term's argumentative program, which however can never be entirely evacuated. This argumentative program is nevertheless subordinated to pragmatics, which remains necessary in order to evaluate the extent to which the conventional lexical meaning is maintained in these uses. The attenuation of conventional meaning under solidarity uses shows the relevance of relational and attitudinal notions for the negotiation of meaning. It further establishes that at least in some cases, the analysis of linguistic interpretation require a multidisciplinary approach, most specifically where the relation between Semantics and Pragmatics is concerned.
Translated title of the contributionInterpretation of insults and relations of solidarity
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)83-103
Number of pages21
JournalLangue Française
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • solidarity
  • insult
  • language variety
  • synchrony diachrony
  • speaker attitude
  • social distance
  • axiology
  • pragmatics
  • semantics
  • solidarité
  • insulte
  • Français
  • variété linguistique
  • synchronie diachronie
  • attitude du locuteur
  • distance sociale
  • axiologie
  • pragmatique
  • sémantique


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