The use of numbers in idiomatic expressions (a contrastive study of French, English and Romanian)
[Emploi des nombres dans les expressions idiomatiques (approche contrastive français-anglais-roumain)]
Ana-Marina Tomescu − Cristina-Elena Ilinca
In this article, we study the occurrence of numbers in idiomatic expressions. We would like to point out from the beginning that the testimonies given by our students indicate that these idiomatic expressions are still little studied, either because of their complexity at the morpho-syntactic level or because of their variety. Nevertheless, the acquisition of these idiomatic expressions is ”a sine qua non” (Dechamps, 2004: 363) for gaining full mastery of a language. A high number of cardinal numerals are used idiomatically, for approximation or in a hyperbolic manner. We want to go further with the study of these expressions, emphasizing, on the one hand, that despite their fixity, some expressions allow for variations of the numeral used and, on the other hand, that these variations produce no semantic changes. We are also interested in the contrastive analysis of the phenomenon and the way in which these expressions can be integrated, from a cultural and intercultural point of view, in the teaching of the French language.
Key words: numeral, phraseology, fixity, contrastive analysis