Edouard Pichon et les patois

Abstract : Abstract. Edouard Pichon and the " patois ". Mobilized as a doctor during the First World War, Edouard Pichon kept in touch by mail with his uncle Jacques Damourette, the co-author for their Essai de grammaire de la langue française. In his letters of the year 1915, he tells him about his studies of dialects and regional languages. Using lists of words and conjugation paradigms, he seeks to find in the forms of Picard, Franco-Provençal, Catalan and Languedocian the proof of a permanence of the French mentality through these different speeches. Drawing on what he hears from the inhabitants of the Santerrois and soliciting various soldiers as informants, he preferred a philological method to study Provençal in Mistral's Mirèio. Using an idiosyncratic notation of sounds, Pichon has a differentialistic approach. He sees dialects as the prosodic interpretation of the same language, French, as an " affective " melody whose " representative " function would remain constant by the effect of racial atavism. Thus, grammar becomes an illustration of a theory that makes languages, and links between them, the proof of a transcendence of the race on social formations. If there are affinities between French, Occitan, Breton and Alsatian, it is not the result of contact but the persistence of a common biological substrate. In this respect, Pichon opposes Gaston Paris's historicalist vision of Romance languages and Antoine Meillet's sociological principles.
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Gabriel Bergounioux. Edouard Pichon et les patois. 6e Congrès Mondial de Linguistique Française, Jul 2018, Mons Belgique. ⟨halshs-01847723⟩

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