Nicolas Beauzée: La clé inexploitée de la phonétique française

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The 18th century, a critical period in the evolution of human knowledge, played a major part in the attainment of knowledge relating to the sounds of language. In fact, an articulatory description of French of an unparalleled closeness to our own would be provided by César Chesneau Du Marsais’ successor in the drafting of the ‘Grammar’ articles in Diderot et d’Alembert’s<i>Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné </i>(1751-1765). From his contribution to the <i>Encyclopédie</i>, to his <i>Grammaire générale</i>published in 1767, to his articles in the dictionary <i>Grammaire &#38; Littérature</i>(1782-1786) as part of the <i>Encyclopédie Méthodique </i>(1782-1832), the grammarian Nicolas Beauzée sketched out what we may consider to be veritable “strokes” of modern phonetics.


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