Académie française

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Académie française:

see French AcademyFrench Academy
(L'Académie française), learned society of France. It is one of the five societies of the Institut de France. Development
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Académie Française

 

a French scholarly institution devoted to the study of language and literature and the establishment of linguistic and literary standards, especially through the creation of a dictionary of the French language (1694; 8th ed., 1931–35) and a grammar (1932); the academy also awards several literary prizes. The Académie Française is part of the Institut de France and comprises 40 members, known as the Immortals. Founded in 1635 on the initiative of Cardinal Richelieu, it was abolished by the National Convention in 1793 but was reestablished in 1803.

In the 17th century the academy sought to influence the development of literature, but during the 18th century, having become a purely honorary institution, its authority diminished. The academy is marked by traditionalism and a resistance to innovation.

REFERENCES

Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946.
Oster, D. Histoire de l’Académie Française. Paris [1970].
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When making the new spelling recommendations in 1990, the then "perpetual secretary" of the Academie Francais Maurice Druon wrote that "language is a living thing," adding that "work should begin again in 30 years, if not earlier.
Admittedly the Queen's English Society does not at present have the prestige of the Academie Francais - or even the OED - but a growing membership will increase its influence.
On This Day: 1635: Cardinal Richelieu founded the Academie Francais - to maintain the purity of the French language.
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