La lexicologie, un savoir scolarisable?

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This article aims to define the conditions and forms under which “lexicology” became a scholarly field of knowledge in non-Latin secondary school curriculums in France between 1850 and 1920. The lexicon was, in fact, the main area of language teaching in which a didactics - coupled with the establishment of the “modern humanities” around 1880 - arose without being viewed through the prism of ancient languages’ grammar. The expansion of this scholarized lexicology is linked, at first, to the predominance of a philological approach stemming from the work of P. Larousse, B. Jullien, and L.-C. Michel. This approach, which responded to certain concerns in the areas of etymology, semantics, and derivational morphology, provided a frame for the development of several types of exercises. The period drew to a close with I. Carré’s attempt to incorporate lessons in the lexicon beginning in elementary school, orienting it towards the study of orthography and written expression.


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