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A SURVEY OF THE TEACHING OF LEXICOGRAPHY Edward Gates People have been making dictionaries since ancient times, and scholars have been writing about them since at least the early nineteenth century, but lexicography as an academic discipline is a twentieth century development. The present study surveys courses in lexicography offered in North America since 1925, with a glance abroad and a glance at other courses having lexicography as a significant component. The information presented here is not complete. Undoubtedly other courses have been offered that did not come to light in the writer's research.1 And not all information of interest has been obtained for cases reported. When information was available, the study reports when the course was offered or first taught, the instructor, institution, course title, level of instruction, number of students, content of the course, mode of instruction, work required of students, and textbooks or reading lists used. The order of presentation is basically chronological. The first course in lexicography to be taught in North America appears to have been one instituted by Sir William Craigie in the fall of 1925 when he took up his professorship at the University of Chicago and began work on the Dictionary ofAmerican English. The course was entitled "Making a Dictionary" and enrolled graduate students helping collect citations for the project.2 One member of the first class was Mitford Mathews, who not only helped edit the Dictionary of American English but went on to edit the Dictionary ofAmericanisms .3 During the summer of 1927 when Craigie was away, the course was taught as a tutorial by James Root Hulbert to Allen Walker Read, with conferences and a term paper. On later occasions when Craigie was away, and after he retired in 1936, the course was taught by George Watson.4 Thomas A. Knott taught lexicography at the University of Michigan in connection with his work on the Middle English Dictionary, of which he was editor from 1935 to 1945.5 Edwin B. Williams taught lexicography in the Department of Romance Languages at the University of Pennsylvania several times between the late 1940's or early 1950's, and 1958. After that, the course was offered as a catalog course every year through 1962, when he retired. Williams was author of the Holt Spanish and English Dictionary (1955 and later editions) and of the New College Spanish and English Dictionary (1968); senior author of the New College Multilingual Dictionary (1967); and general editor for Bantam's New College Dictionary Series. The course was given to doctoral candidates in 113 114EDWARD GATES Romance and perhaps other languages, who met in Williams's office. There was no syllabus. Problems in making monolingual and bilingual dictionaries, with examples, were discussed, and students wrote term papers on such topics as criteria for dictionary reviews. After his retirement, Williams continued to guide doctoral candidates writing on lexicographic topics.6 During the summer of 1954, as part of the Linguistic Institute held by the linguistic Society of America at the University of Chicago, a seminar in lexicography was conducted with the stated purpose of collecting information and organizing knowledge about methods of describing lexical systems, and about the art of making dictionaries. Besides the students enrolled, twenty scholars from anthropology, commercial lexicography, linguistics, machine aids, philology, and semantics participated in all or part of the sessions.7 The history of dictionaries enters the picture with a seminar on Johnson's Dictionary taught by J. E. Congleton about 1954 at the University of Florida.8 Linguistic geography and lexicography, with special reference to Canadian English, were the topics of a course offered at least four times in the Summer School of Linguistics sponsored by the Canadian Linguistic Association. One was held in 1956 in cooperation with the University of Montreal, and others in 1958, 1959, and 1960 in cooperation with the University of Alberta, Edmonton.9 In 1962, a graduate course on lexicography was offered in the Graduate School of Georgetown University by Karl Stowasser, then associated with the Arabic-English Dictionary Project under way there. The course was given each year through 1975, enrolling between nine and twenty-five students, an average of about 15. The focus...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2160-5076
Print ISSN
0197-6745
Pages
pp. 113-131
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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