The goal of this thesis is to analyze the textual composition of René Goscinny’s Astérix and Le petit Nicolas, demonstrating how they differ and why. Taking a statistical look at the comparative qualities of each series of works, the structural differences and similarities in language use in these two series and their respective media are highlighted and compared. Though one might expect more complicated language use in traditional text by virtue of its format, analysis of average word length, average sentence length, lexical diversity, the prevalence of specific forms (the passé composé, possessive pronouns, etc.), and preferred collocations (ils sont fous, ces romains !) shows interesting results. Though Le petit Nicolas has longer sentences and more relative pronouns (and hence more clauses per sentence on average), Astérix has longer words and more lexical diversity. A similar comparison of the albums of Astérix written by Goscinny to those of Uderzo, paying additional attention to the structural elements of each album (usage of narration and sound effects, for example) shows that Goscinny's love of reusing phrases is far greater than Uderzo's, and that the two have very different ideas of timing as expressed in narration boxes.



College and Department

Humanities; French and Italian



Date Submitted


Document Type





René Goscinny, Albert Uderzo, Astérix, Le petit Nicolas, lexical diversity, TreeTagger, part of speech tagging, lemmatization, average word length, average sentence length, verb tense choice, preferred collocations, comics, les bandes dessinées