Edited by Douglas A. Kibbee
[Studies in the History of the Language Sciences 112] 2007
► pp. 183–196
Quels facteurs (linguistiques ou historiques) considérer dans l'accord en français? Étude de certains cas dans le Journal de la langue française (1784) d'Urbain Domergue
In this article, we show how the arguments for French agreement rules change in the history of French grammatical thought. We examine three syntactic structures chosen from the Journal de la langue française (1784-1792) and the factors - “historical” or “linguistic” - that grammarians invoke for recommending agreement, or no agreement. In one structure, the agreement is between a participle and a preceding noun, in another between an adjective and a noun, and in the third between a collective noun subject and the following verb. Starting from the analysis of the arguments of Urbain Domergue, expressed in his Journal de la langue française, and continuing through those of today’s linguists, we see both “historical” and “linguistic” factors evoked to explain agreement rules. In the eighteenth century, we find that a formal (mathematical) analysis true to the ideals of Enlightenment was favored. Current linguists take a more lenient attitude toward variation than did Domergue.
Article language: French