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722 LANGUAGE, VOLUME 62, NUMBER 3 (1986) more knowledgeable about the history of science —then perhaps I would have appreciated this work more. Still, one point in this book made a strong positive impression on me: this is the call for skepticism in linguistic work, and the claim that commitment to analyses (or even theories?) can lead to undesirable intellectual passions (78). I wish linguists of all viewpoints could read and consider this point. [Donna Jo Napoli, University ofMichigan.] Nouveau dictionnaire des difficultés du français moderne. By Joseph Hanse. Gembloux & Paris: Duculot , 1983. Pp. 1014. In 1949, H published his Dictionnaire des difficult és grammaticales et lexicologiques, which soon became a standard work in French normative grammar (including problems of word order). The present work is much more than a thorough revision ofthat dictionary: it is larger, and has become a powerful synthesis of the numerous problems in French grammar and vocabulary . A work of impressive maturity, the Nouveau dictionnaire incorporates the results of more than 50 years of grammatical research by one of the most systematic and methodical specialists on French grammar. In fact, H—who is currently president of the Conseil International de la Langue Française—has long since established a solid reputation as a normative grammarian and specialist in French orthography . Readers interested in the latter topic should read his reflections on the reform of French orthography: 'Modifications orthographiquesettol érancesgrammaticales' (Bulletinde l'Académie Royale [Belge] de Langue et de Litt érature Françaises 55.1-32, 1977) and Orthographe et grammaire: Politique nouvelle (Paris, 1980). The work under review pays much attention to problems oforthography, but its value extends well beyond that: we find here anumber of short case studies on grammatical problems, as well as systematic treatments oflexical problems , e.g. on the difference between an and année—l'année civile (not *l'an civil), il y a quelques années (*ans), le jour de l'an ^l'ann ée)—or on the difference between the adjectives syntactique and syntaxique, which allows French, unlike English, to distinguish what is 'relative to word order' from what is 'relative to sentence structure'). H's dictionary is impressive in its systematic character and its exhaustiveness. In fact, I have noted only a few rare points not discussed here; among these are the distinction between gotique and gothique, and the pronunciation of oeufs (see my article in Folia Lingüistica 19.63-6, 1983). On the following points, H's information could be supplemented: (a) the pronunciation of but(s) 'goal(s)' seems to be, at least in the present-day speech ofFrance, sg. [byt], pi. [by]; (b) for compounds with genèse (446), one should add G. Guillaume's term 'chronogénèse': (c) the pronunciation [tus] for toux in Belgian French perhaps results rather from the analogy with the verb radical [tus-] (tousser) than from dialect interferences. Readers will appreciate H's accurate information on compound adjectives and nouns; on the use of possessive adjectives vs. the article (Elle se coupe les ongles; Ellefrottait son nez; J'ai mal à lajambe 'My leg hurts', but J'ai mal à majambe 'My leg—the one that bothers me— hurts'); on the use of the article (92-102, including a detailed treatment of specific problems ; such as le/la plus travailleuse, or the use of the article in negative sentences); and on tense agreement (252-5). Excellent sections are those on negation (see under ne, nepas, nepoint etc.), and on the verb and auxiliaries (see under 'auxiliaires', avoir, être, 'infinitif, 'participe', and 'subjonctif). But perhaps scholars of French will profit most from reading the sections on prepositions (à, en, de etc.), conjunctions (see especially que and si), pronouns, and syncategorematic terms (aussi, ça, ce/cet/cette, chacun, dont, on, seul, tout), in which problems of construction, word order and agreement are treated in full (e.g. Est-on contente?; On est voisins ). Word orderreceives aprominentplace (cf. under 'infinitif: Cela peut se faire vs. Cela se peut faire); readers whose first language is not French will find this an important virtue. Along the same line, I would recommend the articles 'inversion du sujet', 'si + inversion', as well as the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 722-723
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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