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Eruditio interest – scholarship matters : the (neo-)latinate legacy in scholarly historical dictionaries of west-european vernaculars in the modern era [Beitrag zum Workshop Künftige Standards wissenschaftlicher Lexikographie, 25.-27. März 2012, Berlin]

  • Even a reductionist attempt to define scholarship is clearly fraught with difficulty, but an idealised historical lexicographer-cum-scholar must obviously have – inter alia and at the very least – a profound linguistic and textual knowledge of the language being documented, an ability to understand texts in their historical context and to analyse the meaning or function of lexical items as used in context, an ability to synthesise the results through generalisation and abstraction and to formulate them in a way that is both accurate, i.e. reflects actual usage, and user- or reader-friendly, i.e. is comprehensible to the user/reader. S/he must have encyclopedic or world knowledge and literary skills in order to understand general content words and explain their meaning and their semantic shifts perhaps over many centuries, and technical expertise to understand specialist terms and define their use in specific contexts, again perhaps over time. In respect of etymology s/he must not only have knowledge of older stages of the language and an ability to reconstruct unattested forms, but also knowledge of the other languages that have impacted on the language being documented, or at least familiarity with the scholarly historical dictionaries of those languages. That is a tall order indeed, impossibly tall for any one person today given today‘s demands on and expectations of lexicographers. Teams which include specialists in different areas or at least have access to consultants in such areas alongside generalists are needed if scholarly standards are to be met. The standard of scholarship is primarily a factor of the number and range as well as the knowledge and experience of the lexicographers, as is in large measure the pace of production. In this regard, it cannot be emphasised enough that scholarly historical lexicography of high quality is and will remain very time consuming.

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Author:Alan Kirkness
Document Type:Lecture
Date of Publication (online):2013/03/22
Publishing Institution:Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften
Release Date:2013/03/22
Tag:Eurolatein; westeuropäische Sprachen; wissenschaftliche Lexikographie
Latin loanwords; historical lexicography; neo-latin; west-european languages
GND Keyword:Historische Lexikographie; Europa; Latein; Entlehnung
Page Number:9, 16
Source:Beitrag zum Workshop "Künftige Standards wissenschaftlicher Lexikographie": 25.-27. März 2012 - Berlin / Deutschland
Institutes:BBAW / Akademienvorhaben Deutsches Wörterbuch von Jacob Grimm und Wilhelm Grimm
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 40 Sprache / 400 Sprache
Schriftenreihen in Einzelbeiträgen:BBAW / Konferenzen, Tagungen, Workshops / Künftige Standards wissenschaftlicher Lexikographie, 25.-27. März 2012, Berlin (Workshop)