English Dictionaries, 800-1700: The Topical Tradition

By Werner Hüllen | Go to book overview

11
Towards mental lexicography
11.1 Résumé
11.2 The encyclopaedic tradition
11.3 The semantic tradition
11.4 The end of speculative lexicography
11.5 The beginnings of mental lexicography

11.1 Résumé

Onomasiology is a term belonging to lexical semantics as well as to lexicography. It denotes a mental operation, namely the co-ordination of meaning and language, that is, of semantic matter and linguistic form. It also denotes the technique of listing lexemes according to some order which is not that of the alphabet. Semasiology is the corresponding term which denotes the co-ordination of language and meaning, that is, of linguistic form and matter, employing the technique of listing lexemes in the arrangement of the alphabet. As is obvious, the two terms presuppose that meaning and language, matter and form, are separate entities in natural languages which, although bound to each other, can nevertheless be distinguished in abstraction. This presupposition can be proved valid by everyday linguistic behaviour. In using language we can employ either approach. When learning a language, native or foreign, in the manner which St Augustine1 described in the classical way, we give a name to something of which we have previously become aware, mostly by its being pointed out to us and by the ensuing perception. Indeed, the question 'What do we call this [pointing]?' is with us throughout our life. When we encounter difficulties in understanding, however, again with our native language or foreign ones, we always ask, 'What does this word mean?' Obviously, the mental operations that underlie the onomasiological and the semasiological principles are tied to the natural ways in which we handle linguistic communication, either at the productive or at the receptive end. It is

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1
Confessiones, book I.

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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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