English Virtual Academy (EVA) (^;

From: Alain LaBonté  (alb@sct.gouv.qc.ca)
Date: Mon Mar 13 2000 - 11:03:21 EST

À 07:02 2000-03-13 -0800, Mark Davis a écrit:
>the English language does not (thank the gods) depend on a centralized
>authority like the French Academy.

The difference between English and French in this regard is imho a cultural
plus to be preserved. Alas, the authority of the "Académie française"
deteriorates, as the "Immortels" are no longer the same kind of people as
they used to be (for example, some are sexist, and refused what Québec,
Belgium and Switzerland, even a large portion of the population in France
[including current French women ministers] agreed to, in the feminization
of "titles").

But it still preserves a certain authority ("Office de la langue française"
too, in Québec, which standardizes the above-mentioned feminization -- for
the rest it does not challenge the authority of the Académie, as it also
participates in the standardization debates). French is a standardized
analytic language indeed. To a certain point, like Esperanto, it has some
features of a "built" language, but alas not enough today, because of a
very long history of almost 1200 years (and almost 400 years of full
standardization). Btw, modern German and French are twins, they were
officially born on the same day, in the bilingual text of what is known in
French as "Les serments de Starsbourg", a peace treaty between the heirs of
Charlemagne. That was in the year 842.

Alain LaBonté

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