André Goosse, considered one of the most renowned linguists of his era, died peacefully on Sunday 4 August at Ottignies at the age of 93, according to an obituary published on Tuesday in Le Soir daily.
An eminent professor of the French language and son-in-law of grammarian Maurice Grevisse, he contributed for years to the updating of the work of his father-in-law, the referential French grammar, Le Bon Usage.
Born on 16 April 1926 in Liège, Goosse spent his childhood in Houffalize.
From 1938 to 1944, he studied Greco-Roman Humanities at the Institut Saint-Remacle de Stavelot, where he discovered the pleasures of literature. It was also there that his passion for the French language was born.
He then studied Roman philology at the Catholic University of Louvain, where he met Marie-Thérèse, daughter of Maurice Grevisse. Goosse and Marie-Thérèse married after graduating in 1949. They had two children, Jean-François and Etienne. Marie-Thérèse Goosse-Grevisse died in 1985.
Goosse first passed on his love for the French language to secondary-school students, then, from 1955, to students at the Université Catholique de Louvain. In 1961, he became a lecturer at the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts, Roman Philology Section, and six years later, he became a full-fledged professor. Goosse taught many courses in linguistics: Modern French Grammar, Morphology, Syntax, Lexicology, Dialectology and Onomastics.
At the death of his father-in-law in 1980, he worked to update and continue Grevisse’s book, Le Bon Usage, described as the “best French grammar” by French writer André Gide.
In 1988, Goose remarried with Belgian novelist and literary critic France Bastia, who died in 2017.
Goosse was the secretary of the Royal Academy of French Language and Literature of Belgium from 1996 to 2001. He also chaired the International Council of the French Language.
In Belgium, he participated in the drafting of the Vademecum de la nouvelle orthographe and was Founding President of the Association pour l’application des recommandations orthographiques (Aparo).
The funeral mass for Goose will be held on Thursday 8 August at 11 a.m. at the Saint-Amand Church of Hamme-Mille in Walloon Brabant.