Une &#233;criture de l'histoire: La <i>Lettre &#224; M. Pinglin sur l'histoire de la science grammaticale</i>

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Historians agree that the first treatises about the history of linguistics emerged during the last decade of the 19th century, with the works of D. Thiébault (1793, “Lettre à M. Pinglin sur l’histoire de la science grammaticale”) and F. Thurot (1796, “Tableau des progrès de la science grammaticale”). Each of these works takes a different perspective on past grammatical theories. This difference is heightened by the comparison with the historiographical essays of Lanjuinais (1816, Preface to the republication of<i>L’Histoire naturelle de la Parole </i>de Court de Gébelin), and Volney (1819, “Discours sur l’étude philosophique des langues”). The aim of this paper is to examine the specificity of Thiébault’s work, by focusing on the way the representation and selection of linguistic theories of the past leads to a kind of celebration of the ‘Grammaire philosophique’ as a discipline – celebration which serves a didactic purpose.


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