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Current Projects in Historical Lexicography

Editor(s): John Considine

Book Description

Current Projects in Historical Lexicography brings together seven papers by present and recent editors of historical dictionaries and lexical databases.

The collection is introduced with an overview of the history of historical lexicography from the ancient world to the present day, with particular emphasis on the major nineteenth-century dictionaries of German, French, English, Dutch, Swedish, and Danish, and on their successors. In the first paper, Javier Martín Arista describes the present state of, and the prospects for, the Nerthus lexical database of Old English. The next two introduce specialized dictionaries of the language of medieval and early modern texts: Fernando Tejedo-Herrero’s comprehensive dictionary of the language of the great thirteenth-century lawcode Siete Partidas, and Juhani Norri’s Dictionary of Medical Vocabulary in English, 1375–1530. Marijke Mooijaart’s paper discusses the online integration of the four historical dictionaries which cover Dutch from the earliest times to the twentieth century. The next two papers, Stefan Dollinger on the Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles and the Bank of Canadian English, and Maggie Scott on the Concise Scots Dictionary, describe projects to revise twentieth-century historical dictionaries as the language varieties which they register evolve. Finally, Jeremy Bergerson’s paper presents a project for an etymologically rich historical dictionary of Afrikaans. An appendix to the volume comprises two previously unpublished short documents by Katherine Barber and John Considine which bear on the history of the Dictionary of Canadianisms revision project.

The contributions to this volume offer a rare set of insights into ongoing lexicographical work, addressing both methodological issues such as inclusion criteria and the balance between diachronic and synchronic coverage, and practical issues such as publication media and funding.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-2116-2
ISBN-10: 1-4438-2116-0
Date of Publication: 01/06/2010
Pages / Size: 240 / A5
Price: £39.99


John Considine teaches English at the University of Alberta. His monograph Dictionaries in Renaissance Europe: Lexicography and the Making of Heritage was published in 2008. He is the co-editor with Giovanni Iamartino of Words and Dictionaries from the British Isles in Historical Perspective (2007) and the editor of the present volume and two companion volumes, Webs of Words: New Studies in Historical Lexicology and Adventuring in Dictionaries: New Studies in the History of Lexicography, all published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.