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Title: Vaugelas and the development of the French language
Author: Ayres-Bennett, Wendy
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1984
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My thesis attempts to provide an overall view of Vaugelas's work, to indicate the development of his ideas during his lifetime, to place the Remarques sur la langue fran├žoise (1647) in a historical and sociological context, and to evaluate the importance of his ideas both for the writing of works on language and for the evolution of the French language itself. Three principal lines of enquiry have been adopted - the historical, the linguistic, and the sociolinguistic. I have been concerned with three historical questions. Firstly, how did Vaugelas's ideas develop during his lifetime? This involved analysis of the usage of the early translation of Fonseca's Lenten sermons (1615), the Arsenal manuscript of the Remarques, which differs in several crucial ways from the published version, the Remarques themselves, and finally the two posthumous versions of Vaugelas's translation of Quinte-Curce's De la vie et des actions d'Alexandre le grand (1653, 1659). Secondly, I have examined the place of the Remarques in the history of grammatical writing by considering Vaugelas's intellectual predecessors and thereby evaluating his originality. Thirdly, I have traced the influence of Vaugelas's ideas on subsequent writings on linguistic matters and his impact on the evolution of French. The second concern - the linguistic - has involved detailed analysis of Vaugelas's work, focusing on the tension between theory and practice in the Remarques and the discrepancies between the theoretical pronouncements of the observations and Vaugelas's actual usage in the translations. Enquiry has been pursued at both the general theoretical level and through analysis of the details of Vaugelas's linguistic doctrine. Thirdly, I have added a sociolinguistic dimension to my study in order to explain not only the popularity and success of the Remarques, but also the reason for many of the linguistic pronouncements. I show how in a sense the linguistic is subsumed by the sociological, the goal and intended audience of the work determining in no small way the theory of language expressed in the Remarques.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: French language ; Middle French ; 1300-1600