The approach taken by members of the Observatoire de linguistique Sens-Texte (OLST) to study the lexicon (general and specialized) is original in more than one way and is aimed towards three objectives:

  1. Address theoretical issues that underlie the various and complex properties of the lexicon;
  2. Develop and disseminate monolingual and multilingual resources
    (lexical and terminological databases as well as text corpora);
  3. Devise methods to apply this work to various applications (in language teaching, for instance).

Research projects are divided into four axes and aim to study the lexicon from the various perspectives that correspond the expertises of the members of the team.

Since 2003/2004, the group has devoted a lot of energy in order to disseminate freely resources developed by its members. Various resources are now available: 1. lexical databases that contain formal descriptions of the general lexicon and specialized terms in specific fields of knowledge (e.g., computing and the environment); general and specialized corpora along with tools to process them (e.g., term extractors, concordancers); 3. language learning resources and various search modules that can query the lexical systems devised by the group in a user-friendly way.

The Observatoire de linguistique Sens-Texte (OLST) research group was founded in 1997 at the Department of Linguistics and Translation of Université de Montréal. It has been headed by Igor Mel’čuk, then by Alain Polguère. Its current Director is Patrick Drouin.

Work conducted at the OLST concerns three language-related disciplines that are often studied independently: linguistics, terminology and didactics.

The main originality of the OLST lies in its bringing together of three categories of researchers united by a shared interest in formal modelling of linguistic phenomena. Although some research projects are not strictly defined within the Meaning-Text linguistic theory (which gave its name to the research group), the work conducted at the OLST revolves around the same general approach, in a way that is both flexible (allowing for evolution of the theoretical and methodological foundations) and consistent (maintaining a convergence of research goals and the general vision of language).

Between 2004 and 2008, The OLST has been awarded a grant from the Fonds de recherche sur la société et la culture (FQRSC). This grant has been renewed for a two additional periods of four years (2008-2012 and 2013-2017).