Marina P. Tikhonova

Smolensk State University, Russian Federation


Children’s poetry in its modern form appeared in France in the 20th century. Its renewal was facilitated by political and social changes in the society, which had an impact on the attitude towards children. Moralization and didacticism were replaced by democratic tendencies, which found their reflection in the language of children’s literature. Contemporary poets writing for children use not only the literary (normative) version of the language, but also such substandard forms as common language, argot and territorial dialects. Social varieties of the language attract poets by their unnormativeness, specific vocabulary and phraseology, naturalness, expressiveness, emotionality and evaluative character. Besides, this vocabulary has a very high ludic potential. Colloquial elements can perform different functions in children’s poetry: they recreate live speech, enable the adult to take the position of equality towards the child, thus creating the effect of complicity and sometimes surprise. However, the main role of substandard vocabulary in children’s poetry is to reinforce the ludic function. Substandard language forms in children’s literature also indicate certain changes that this vocabulary has undergone in the linguistic consciousness of the French: it is no longer treated as “linguistic garbage”, but is considered as an integral component of French culture, which reflects the national linguistic picture of the world.

Keywords: contemporary French poetry for children and adolescents, substandard vocabulary, common language, colloquial vocabulary, argot

For citation: Tikhonova M.P. Substandard vocabulary in the french children’s poetry. Sociolinguistics, 2020, no. 4(4) [online], pp. 152–163. (In Russ.)