Focus on... Samia Ounoughi and the British travellers speeches about the Alps

on the June 12, 2020

Samia Ounoughi is a senior lecturer of the Laboratory of Linguistics in the LIDILEM laboratoy. She is working on discourse analysis about the Alps. She is involved in the Labex ITEM and the Démarre SHS ! project.
In the 19th century, British travellers explored news territories, never explored before or not much, such as the Alps.  High mountains are an extreme territory with extreme conditions. Thanks to her previous discourse analysis of British alpinists’ travel narratives, Samia Ounoughi found out that the travellers had to use an extreme grammar to describe them, to convey a picture of the Alps through the alpinists’ experiences.

She decided to confirm her hypothesis on a large dataset. She is building a corpus of travel narratives of British travellers in the Alps published in the Journal of the Alpine Club of London. It represents 600 to 700 texts, being 1 million words, to analyse lexical occurrences, grammatical structures, etc.

The researcher was not used to work with large dataset. However, she was supported by her laboratory, the Labex ITEM and the Demarre SHS ! project from the Grenoble Alpes Data Institute. In 2017, she did a one week training on the composition of a corpus with the CNRS, opened to researchers  computer engineers and librarians. She continued to train with the workshops and seminars organized by the LIDILEM and Démarre SHS!. 

Finally she is assisted by the Démarre SHS ! team to technically build her corpus by showing her the huge potentialities of the tools. Célia Marion is helping her with the Oxygen software for the metadata and tagging and put the text in XML format. Sylvain Hatier is teaching her how to use the lexico-syntactic exploration platform created by the LIDILEM. With the Démarre SHS ! project she feels supported for the corpus building and the data strategy. In her opinion, it also creates links between people.

Samia Ounoughi is now correcting her corpus and has research results to be published. Analysing the linguistic functioning will be useful for language sciences, geographers and historians.
Select bibliography

Book edition: 

Samia Ounoughi, « La saillance et le discours sur le relief », Journal of Alpine Research | Revue de géographie alpine [En ligne], 104-2 | 2016, mis en ligne le 21 septembre 2016, consulté le 24 septembre 2019. URL : ; DOI : 10.4000/rga.3381

“Mapping in Process: Discourse Analysis of the Alpine Club’s periodicals”, (forthcoming, Studies in Travel Writing)
 “Climbing Summits, an Exception Shaped by Strict Rules” (forthcoming, Studies in Travel Writing)
“The Discourse of Alpinists about Animals at High Altitudes. A Corpus Study of the Alpine Journal (1857-1899)” (Forthcoming, Caliban)
« Révolution et écrits d’alpinistes britanniques (1858-1900) », Congrès de la SAES « Révolution(s) », Nanterre, 08/06/2018.
« Analyse du discours à visée interdisciplinaire : corpus de récits d’alpinistes britanniques au XIXe siècle ». Séminaire DELICORTAL, LIDILEM, UGA, 08/12/17
Ounoughi Samia UGA LIDILEM / Duvillard Sylvie CNRS PACTE  « Pour une évolution vers l'interdisciplinarité : analyse du discours et géographie ». JE : Historical geographies / Géographie et historicité ILCEA4 ; LIDILEM. Séminaire Critical Geographies AMULERMA – EMMA – CEMRA- LIDILEM 27/05/16
Published on June 30, 2020