Chartopia: 5 Nineteenth-Century French Grammar Charts

In What The French?!,  we have an appendix called “PTK’s Chartopia” (PTK=Pretentious Technicality Kid, a recurring character in our grammar review book)—a land full of nothing but charts, for people who are into that sort of thing. Charts probably put most readers to sleep (myself included), but they can also be useful, and sometimes even beautiful. Here are five examples excavated from the massive Gallica online collections of the Bibliothèque nationale de France:

Titre : Paradigm or model on which all French regular verbs are conjugated, thereby reducing the numerous conjugations and exceptions, has hitherto given in every French-english grammar, to only one conjugation... by M. H. Chauvier,...1850

Titre : Paradigm or model on which all French regular verbs are conjugated, thereby reducing the numerous conjugations and exceptions, has hitherto given in every French-english grammar, to only one conjugation… by M. H. Chauvier,…1850

I don’t know who colored this verb chart, but I love it.

Abécédaire français, ou leçons tirées de l'histoire de France... Seconde édition...

Abécédaire français, ou leçons tirées de l’histoire de France… Seconde édition…

This book goes from individual letters, to the alphabet, to syllables, to words, and so on.

Jean-Baptiste Say. Papiers. III Grammaire et reliquat littéraire. 1701-1900

Jean-Baptiste Say. Papiers. III Grammaire et reliquat littéraire. 1701-1900

Individual manuscript pages from 1701-1900 are grouped into this book. I never knew that personal pronouns could look so elegant.

Tableaux synoptiques des deux parties de la grammaire française...

Tableaux synoptiques des deux parties de la grammaire française…

hmmm. could somebody please get out the watercolors?

How to learn the genders of fourteen thousand five hundred French nouns in ten minutes ! by professor Fairchild... Third edition, 1866

How to learn the genders of fourteen thousand five hundred French nouns in ten minutes ! by professor Fairchild… Third edition, 1866

From a short pamphlet that promises to teach you the gender of 14,500 French nouns in 10 minutes. All I have to say is “What the French?!”