Keywords: History of the Language in the Napoleonic Decade; 19th Century Lexicography; Political Vocabulary.
In 1812 Giuseppe Bernardoni, secretary of the Department of the Internal Affairs, published "Elenco di alcune parole oggidì frequentemente in uso le quali non sono ne' vocabolari italiani", with the intention of providing a useful service to all employees. Historians of the Italian language frequently cite Bernardoni's work as the first dictionary of a purist nature. But little has been said of the author's active participation in the cultural life of the Napoleonic decade. This may shed some light on the author's motivation in compiling the short glossary. Almost by chance, the Elenco became the foundation of purist lexicography, but the author, while interpreting a common feeling of hostility towards the language of administration, is not yet able to grasp the composition of a vocabulary that will be the at the root of Italian political history.