First Maltese Member of the Accademia della Crusca
Professor Joseph M. Brincat has been appointed a member of the Accademia della Crusca, which was founded in Florence in 1582 with the aim of promoting the codification of the Italian language.
Its first decades were devoted to the Vocabolario, published in 1612 (five editions up to 1923), the first dictionary to provide definitions and examples, on which the dictionaries of the major European languages were later modelled.
Nowadays it has abandoned the purist attitude of the earlier centuries and is very active in philological, grammatical and lexical studies by publishing journals and books, establishing a digital archive, organising conferences and offering consultancy services on historical and contemporary aspects of the Italian language.
There has never before been a Maltese member of the Accademia. Its organisation is composed of 15 Accademici (all Italian, six of whom must reside in Florence) and 30 Soci Corrispondenti, of whom 15 are Italian and 15 are foreigners, who are all co-opted. In 1972, the Accademia moved to a country residence of the Medici family built in 1477 just outside Florence.
The Villa Medicea di Castello now houses its offices, council room, library (containing 122,000 volumes) and a large conference hall.