Institut d'Estudis Catalans

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The Institut d'Estudis Catalans (Catalan pronunciation: [instiˈtud dəsˈtuðis kətəˈɫans], English: "Institute for Catalan Studies"), also known by the acronym IEC, is an academic institution which seeks to undertake research and study into "all elements of Catalan culture".

The IEC is known principally for its work in standardizing the Catalan language. The Institute's current president is Salvador Giner, elected to the office for four years in June 2005, and to a second term in 2009. The IEC is based in Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, and the second largest city in Spain.

Enric Prat de la Riba, who was to become the first President of the Commonwealth of Catalonia, signed the founding document of the Institute, as president of the Barcelona County Council on June 17, 1907.[1] The IEC is one of a number of cultural and scientific institutions created at that time to lend greater prestige to the Catalan language and culture; others include the Biblioteca de Catalunya (Library of Catalonia), the Escola Industrial (Industrial School), the Escola Superior de Belles Arts (Higher School of Fine Arts) and the Escola del Treball (School of Labour), el Centre de Recerca Matemàtica. Prat de la Riba also founded the Escola de l'Administració Local (School of Local Administration), in order to create a body of Catalan civil servants for the regional government.

The IEC was admitted to the Union Académique Internationale in 1922, shortly after the establishment of the latter.[2]

During the dictatorship of Franco, along with many other Catalan cultural institutions, the Institut lived a semiclandestine existence, and was not officially restored to its previous status in the field of language standardisation until a 1991 bill was passed by the (also restored) Catalan Parliament.[3]

The IEC inspired the creation of the Institut d'Estudis Occitans in Occitania. Occitania is an area in southern France where Occitan (often called Provençal) has been historically spoken.

Philological Section

The IEC's Philological Section was founded in 1911. Antoni Maria Alcover served as its first president. Along with Pompeu Fabra, the Philological Section worked to establish a series of spelling norms that were approved by members in 1913. These became the foundation of modern written Catalan which are still in use today. Similarly, in 1917, the Diccionari Ortogràfic de l'Institut was published; it soon became a dictionary of spelling norms irredeemably tied to the reputation of former Institute Director Pompeu Fabra. The dictionary went through several editions, with the last released in 1937. This work and others were the basis of Fabra's Diccionari General de la Llengua Catalana published in 1932, a general-purpose dictionary that became a standard reference work throughout the various Catalan-speaking territories.

Officially the IEC provides standards for the language as a whole: the Philological Section has members from Catalonia proper, Northern Catalonia (located in France), the Balearic Islands, Valencia, Alghero in Sardinia and the Principality of Andorra (the only country where Catalan is the sole official language). However, the Valencian Region south of Catalonia has its own language academy, the Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua, which nevertheless formally acknowledges that theirs is one variant of the common language. In an area known as the Franja de Ponent, the eastern edge of Aragon adjacent to Catalonia where Catalan is spoken by about 44,000 inhabitants, the rules are followed de facto although Catalan is not an official language in that region.

Other IEC works of note include the Diccionari de la Llengua Catalana published in 1995, and the regionally sensitive Diccionari Català-Valencià-Balear (Catalan-Valencian-Balearic Dictionary). Notable members of the Philological Section include Josep Carner, Àngel Guimerà and Joan Maragall.


  1. IEC. "Història - Els objectius, la seu i l'àmbit d'actuació". IEC. Retrieved 2010-10-02.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. See The Institut d'Estudis Catalans, translated by Valerie Collins, and published by the Institut in 1992; Page 5.
  3. Llei 8/1991, de 3 de maig (DOGC 1440, del 8), sobre l'autoritat lingüística de l'Institut d'Estudis Catalans

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