THE RE-ACQUISITION OF THE LANGUAGE
Occitan linguistic conscience had been highly defined since the XII century and it was in fact one of the first European languages to have its own grammar (Reglas de trobar, Leis d’Amor). However the loss of an official status and the institutional disdain in which the language came to be held, led it to become increasingly less coherent, under the influence of French phonetics. It was Honorat de Dinha who published in 1846, what may be considered as the first dictionary of the modern era. The word spellings that he adopted were inspired by those of the Troubadours and similar to that of the majority of the Latin languages. Mistral debated for a long time on the choice of the best word spelling for his “Treasure of Felibritge”. Being influenced by Romanilha, he ended up by choosing one which unfortunately poorly adapted to the Occitan languages different to Provençal. The abbot J. Ros from Limoges, was against this solution and returned to the word spelling of the Troubadours for his works. His linguistic style was followed by two writers of Linguadoc, Prosper Estieu and Antonin Perbosc, who in 1919 founded the «Occitan School», laying down specific rules according to a scientific basis. Their work was splendidly perfected by the philologist Louis Alibert who published his “Occitan grammar book” (1935) in Barcelona, in collaboration with the Catalan study institute.
The work of Alibert was completed with the publication in 1966, seven years after his death, of his “Dictionary”, which is still today a valuable reference work.