Abbé Rousselot


THE Abbe Rousselot passed away on December 16 last. Born in 1846 at St. Cloud (Charente), he was ordained in 1870 and became one of the teachers in the Petit Seminaire de Richemont. Leaving his pastoral work on account of his health, he devoted himself to language studies under Brachet, Breal, and Bailly. He became convinced that'' phonetics should take as its basis not dead texts but the living and speaking man. “In his peregrinations from parish to parish he became keenly observant of the fact that” sounds change with perfect regularity from one region to another; he came to believe that “phonetics could be something more and better than a descriptive science of spoken sounds, that it ought to be geographical.” Noticing the differences in pronunciation among three generations of his own family living together, he got the idea of genealogical phonetics. This thought led to the foundation of the science of experimental phonetics.

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SCRIPTURE, E. Abbé Rousselot. Nature 115, 164–165 (1925) doi:10.1038/115164a0

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