Paul Bacot : “Agoronyms. Legitimising Parliamentary Assemblies Through Their Denomination”12th December 2008, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Salle du Conseil, Institut d’études politiques, 14 avenue Berthelot, Lyon
(Traduction : Fiona Simpkins, MCF Civilisation britannique,
Speaker : Paul Bacot
Topic : “Agoronyms. Legitimising Parliamentary Assemblies Through Their Denomination”
Summary : The names of parliamentary assemblies, or agoromyms, are proper names composed of one or several lexical units bearing meaning. However, they are more informative of the legitimising strategies used than of their objective characteristics. In this sense, they are an integral part of political discourse. This study is based on two corpuses : the first one is composed of approximately a hundred official names of some sixty national assemblies and fifteen Parliaments of forty-five independent European states in their national language(s), whilst the second consists of the official names (in French and English) of international parliamentary assemblies. A paracorpus is composed of ancient or officious appellations.
The census of morpho-semantic units entering the official denominations of national parliamentary assemblies in Europe, as well as their interlinguistic classification in a few large categories, show that these agoronyms are constructed from words or elements bearing a limited number of meaningful characteristics that can refer to a gathering of individuals, a closed location, a debating activity, pertinent actors, a specific time, a hierarchical status, a geopolitical stake or a represented population. Two main modalities for legitimising through agoronyms are observed : either emotion is played up, that is connotation and an implicit argument, either reason is played up, that is denotation and an explicit argument. Words whose frequency of use is decreasing indicate what is not being chosen to contribute to the legitimacy of an assembly through its denomination.
Key words : agoronym, parliamentary assemblies, Europe, legitimation, political onomastics.