It seems appropriate that Henri Estienne (1531-98), the great sixteenth-century humanist and hellenist, compiler of the monumental Thesaurus linguae graecae of 1572 and scholarly editor of numerous first editions of ancient Greek authors, should find a place in a volume devoted to the French language and questions of identity. In his vernacular writings, Estienne repeatedly claims that it is ‘l’honneur de la nation’ or ‘l’honneur de [la] patrie’ that has led him to assert the superiority of the French language over its rivals, notably Italian, and to seek to maintain its purity from foreign (primarily Italian) influence (Estienne 1579: fol. aiir; Estienne 1853: 44; Estienne 1972). Study of Estienne enables us to explore both the archaeology of French linguistic purism and the origins of much of the terminology that modern scholars continue to apply – largely unselfconsciously – to the description of linguistic borrowing.
Cowling, D. (2007). Henri Estienne and the problem of French-Italian code-switching in sixteenth-century France. In W. Ayres-Bennett, & M. C. Jones (Eds.), The French language and questions of identity (162-170). Legenda