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La Grammaire au Service de la Galanterie? Analyse de Les « Vous » et les « Tu » de Voltaire


In his epistle Les "Vous" et les "Tu", Voltaire calls his sweetheart "tu" and"valls" alternately. He could use the familiar address when she was youngand unambitious, but now that she has become a rich and distant lady, thisfamiliarity is not possible anymore. This alternation of formal and infonnaladdress, analysed in the light of the theory of politeness, evokes the many,someti.rncs contradictory, values of these two pronouns .