English Dictionaries, 800-1700: The Topical Tradition


Between the beginnings of European lexicography and 1700, many glossaries and dictionaries were arranged not according to the alphabet, but in a topical order which followed the influential paradigms of theology, philosophy, and natural history at that time. Together with related text genres like treatises on terminology, didactic dialogues, and thesauri, they constitute the topical (or onomasiological) tradition which is an important lexicographical tradition in its own right. This book discusses the tradition's principles and origins, and by way of illustration draws upon early glossaries, treatises for the learning of foreign languages, and didactic dialogues. Later comprehensive works are presented as detailed in-depth studies. Professor H¿llen demonstrates that the English tradition is embedded in a complex Continental tradition whose important representatives, such as Adrianus Junius and Comenius, had a great influence on the English scene.


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