English Dictionaries, 800-1700: The Topical Tradition

By Werner Hüllen | Go to book overview

3
Hermeneumata, Latin-English glosses, and nominales
3.1 The classical base
3.2 Hermeneumata
3.2.1 General
3.2.2 Capitula and ars memorativa
3.2.3 The colloquies
3.3 A typological view of Old English glosses
3.4 Aelfric's Glossary
3.5 Later glossaries and nominales and the Mayer Nominale
3.5.1 Topics covered
3.5.2 The Mayer Nominale
3.5.3 Concluding remarks on the Mayer Nominale

3.1 The classical base

Glosses and compilations of glosses, that is, glossaries, are the result of comments on texts in order to make them intelligible. Intelligibility is hampered most by words which are old and which have fallen into disuse, or which are only understood in particular regions. Intelligibility is also hamperd by homonyms-- formally identical words with several meanings. Glosses explain such rare words to language users who are not accustomed to them, and they decide which of two (or more) meanings apply in a given text. Explaining words with the help of words presupposes synonymity in natural languages, that is, the fact that meanings and senses can be expressed in more than one way. The awareness of this fact stands at the beginning of classical, and this means of European, thinking about language ( Schmitter 1991). Glossography is, thus, part of reception theory and of explication de texte ( Hunt 1991, vol. 1, 3). As with lexicography in general, there is no glossography without glosses, although there has been a production of glosses and glossaries for a long time without glossographic reflections. It is the historiographers who must endeavour to supply them with their hindsight.

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English Dictionaries, 800-1700: The Topical Tradition
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Publisher's Acknowledgement ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figures x
  • Tables xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Acknowledgements xv
  • Note on the Text xvi
  • Abbreviations xvii
  • A. Opening the Topic 1
  • 1 - The Onomasiological Approach 3
  • 2 - On Establishing a Tradition 28
  • B: The English Tradition of Onomasiology 41
  • 3 - Hermeneumata, Latin-English Glosses, and Nominales 43
  • 4 - Colloquies, Wordbooks, and Dialogues for Teaching and Learning Foreign Languages 78
  • 5 - Treatises on Terminology 140
  • 6 - John Withals' Dictionary for Young Boys (1553) 168
  • 7 - James Howell's Dictionary for the Genteel (1660) 202
  • 8 - John Wilkins' Comprehensive Thesaurus of English (1668) 244
  • C - The European Scene (1400-1700) 303
  • 9 - Multilingual Dictionaries and Nomenclators 305
  • 10 - The Case of Johannes Amos Comenius 361
  • D. Reflections on the Topic 431
  • 11 - Towards Mental Lexicography 433
  • Appendix 449
  • Bibliography 491
  • Index 515
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