Polylexical.com – A Database of French Compounds

in Lexicography

My doctoral work is primarily on the semantics of compounding in French. In order to conduct my research, I needed access to a repository of compounds that allowed for specific types of search queries (e.g. all plural N-N compounds), but none met my needs. Mathieu-Colas’s database of French compounds, probably the most well-known such online resource, only allows for the most basic of queries; the MorboComp project currently in development at the University of Bologna remains closed to the public. I therefore decided to develop my own database of compounds and to make it available to everyone at Polylexical.com.

The database contains over 10,000 French nominal compounds retrieved from the French version of Wiktionary. In its current form, Polylexical.com only contains basic information for each entry, such as gender and number, as well as the parts of speech of its constituents. As I continue my doctoral work, additional information will be added to the database, such as the “centricity” of the compounds and what I’m calling the Semantic Reliability Index, a numerical rating based on the recurring patterns in the data. I’m sure that even in its current state, however limited it may be, this resource will prove useful to other researchers.

Feedback is always welcome. You may use the form available on the site or e-mail me at yves.bourque(a)mail.utoronto.ca.