This book provides a comprehensive survey of the development of the English-Latvian lexicographic tradition considering the various extra-linguistic factors which have influenced it. It studies the typical features of English-Latvian dictionaries traced throughout the tradition at the levels of their mega-, macro- and microstructure, pinpoints the problematic aspects of English-Latvian lexicography and offers theoretically grounded solutions for improving the quality of future English-Latvian dictionaries.
The first five treat English and French lexicography in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Heberto Fernandez and Monique Cormier discuss the outside matter of French–English bilingual dictionaries; Kusujiro Miyoshi re-assesses the influence of Robert Cawdrey; John Considine uncovers the biography of Henry Cockeram; Antonella Amatuzzi discusses Pierre Borel’s use of his predecessors; and Fredric Dolezal investigates multi-word units in the dictionary of John Wilkins and William Lloyd. Linda Mitchell’s account of dictionaries as behaviour guides in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries leads on to Giovanni Iamartino’s presentation of words associated with women in the dictionary of Samuel Johnson, and Thora Van Male’s of the ornaments in the Encyclopédie. Nineteenth-century and subsequent topics are treated by Anatoly Liberman on the growth of the English etymological dictionary; Julie Coleman on dictionaries of rhyming slang; Laura Pinnavaia on Richardson’s New Dictionary and the changing vocabulary of English; Peter Gilliver on early editorial decisions and reconsiderations in the making of the Oxford English Dictionary; Anne Dykstra on the use of Latin as the metalanguage in Joost Halbertsma’s Lexicon Frisicum; Laura Santone on the “Dictionnaire critique” serialized in Georges Bataille’s Surrealist review Documents; Sylvia Brown on the stories of missionary lexicography behind the Eskimo–English Dictionary of 1925; and Michael Adams on the legacies of the Early Modern English Dictionary project.
The diverse critical perspectives of the leading lexicographers and historians of lexicography who contribute to this volume are united by a shared interest in the close reading of dictionaries, and a shared concern with the making and reading of dictionaries as human activities, which cannot be understood without attention to the lives of the people who undertook them.
The contributions analyze, on the basis of significant case studies, how dictionaries first emerged in a wide spectrum of cultures, ranging from Greek Antiquity to 9th-century Japan, from Medieval Britain to 15th-century Poland. In this way, the book highlights both similarities and differences among these traditions, and allows a global and comparative approach to the history of lexicography in its earliest phases, a topic which, up until now, has usually been studied only within single languages and cultures.