Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines

Sur quelques emplois du pronom je dans l’Encyclopédie de Diderot et d’Alembert

Brot, Muriel

In: Revue Tranel (Travaux neuchâtelois de linguistique), 2018, vol. 69, p. 61-73

Used by several encyclopedists, the pronoun je appears in many articles of Diderot's and d'Alembert's Encyclopédie which – owing to the scholarly ambition of their research as well as to the collective nature of the undertaking – qualify as scientific discourse, a genre which cannot normally use this pronoun without breaching its own rules, thus giving rise to criticism over genre confusion.... More

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    Summary
    Used by several encyclopedists, the pronoun je appears in many articles of Diderot's and d'Alembert's Encyclopédie which – owing to the scholarly ambition of their research as well as to the collective nature of the undertaking – qualify as scientific discourse, a genre which cannot normally use this pronoun without breaching its own rules, thus giving rise to criticism over genre confusion. Devoted to the various forms and functions of the use of je, devoid of either historical or sociological purport – which would ascribe first person singular occurrences to their actual authors so as to unveil their ideological content and assess each encyclopedist's contribution – this study shows how far these je interventions, analysed within the enunciative framework, the 'enunciative stage' and the 'scenogaphy' that they create within the discourse, are in fact a most effective mainstay in the philosophical and political project of the Encyclopédie, which intended to change the common way of thinking.