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The Place of WordsThe Académie Française and Its Dictionary during an Age of Revolution$
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Michael P. Fitzsimmons

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190644536

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190644536.001.0001

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The Founding of the Académie Française and Its Development through the Late Seventeenth Century

The Founding of the Académie Française and Its Development through the Late Seventeenth Century

Chapter:
(p.3) 1 The Founding of the Académie Française and Its Development through the Late Seventeenth Century
Source:
The Place of Words
Author(s):

Michael P. Fitzsimmons

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190644536.003.0001

What would become the Académie Française had modest beginnings as an informal weekly gathering of young men in Paris to discuss literary matters. Although its members tried to keep their meetings secret, Richelieu learned of the group’s existence and appropriated it. In 1635 it became the nucleus for the founding of the new Académie. Although its charter stipulated four responsibilities, the Académie ultimately undertook only one—the creation of a dictionary of the French language. The task of creating a dictionary proved difficult and the first edition did not appear until nearly sixty years later, in 1694. It was widely criticized, particularly for its organizational structure.

Keywords:   Académie Française, Richelieu, Claude Favre de Vaugelas, Antoine Furetière, French language

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