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Title:Grammaticalite De L'accord Du Participe Passe Conjugue Avec Avoir Dans Le "Journal De La Langue Francaise" d'Urbain Domergue
Author(s):Choi, E-Jung
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kibbee, Douglas A.
Department / Program:French
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Linguistics
Abstract:In the eighteenth century, the notions of the "genius" of the French language and "clarity" of its style were often evoked in descriptions of the French language, exemplified by Antoine Rivarol, among others. Throughout the eighteenth century, grammarians seek to explain French grammar from this perspective, in comparison with Latin grammar. However, today little study has been done on in-depth analysis of a concrete grammatical rule in this period. My dissertation demonstrates how the philosophical trends of the Enlightenment and the study of the language resulted in the formation of grammatical rules and how this tradition is present in today's grammar, particularly in the grammatical rule which requires a past participle to agree with its preceding direct object. The object of my study is the Journal de la langue francaise (1784-1792), a periodical devoted to comments on French grammar, written by Francois-Urbain Domergue, a grammarian and teacher of French in Lyon, who synthesizes previous grammatical theories and proposes new ones. In addition to investigating the grammaticality of this agreement rule in this periodical, my goal is to situate the rule in the broader context of French intellectual history. The study demonstrates that the rule, originally motivated by Latin grammar, is finally supported as a linguistic feature that distinguishes French from Latin, an aspect of the "genius" of the French language. Accordingly, grammarians of that period elaborate the rule in order to affirm this characteristic of French. The current rule can be interpreted as a compromise between two contrasting trends in the eighteenth century: formal (logical) analysis, represented by Charles Pinot Duclos and Pierre Morel, successors of grammaire generale, and a more lenient analysis accounting for variation in the application of the rule, represented by Condillac, a successor of Vaugelas. Ultimately, the grammaticality arises from an arbitrary decision by intellectuals/grammarians, the foundation of this rule being writers' usage, not an internally motivated linguistic factor. Another contribution of my thesis is to demonstrate how this grammatical rule has become a characteristic that defines "mastery of French" and thus a part of Modern French identity.
Issue Date:2006
Description:246 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2006.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3223566
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2006

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