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THE NEW POLISH DICTIONARY Frank Y. Gladney Titled simply Stownik Jqzyka Polskiego, it is at least the sixth dictionary to bear that name. The first was the six-volume work by S. B. Linde published in 1807-14, which contains only 60,000 entries but is rich in comparative and historical material, illustrations , phrases, and citations from the literature of the 16th-18th centuries. The second was a compact two-volume dictionary based largely on Linde issued in Wilno in 1861-62. The third came out in Warsaw in 1900-27, the so-called Warsaw Dictionary. It contains 270,000 entries, but the number is due to the inclusion of plausible but unattested derivatives and of dialect variants. The fourth was started in 1935 by a group of Cracow scholars headed by the late Tadeusz Lehr-Splawinski. Its entries feature a developed historical and etymological apparatus, and it achieves compactness by minimizing citations. It was less than half completed (to normalny) when stopped by the war. After the war the initiative in general (as opposed to historical and etymological) lexicography passed to Warsaw, where Witold Doroszewski, at the time of his death in 1976 the doyen of Polish studies, assembled a staff and commenced work on a new dictionary in 1950. Like Linde and unlike the intervening three dictionaries, Doroszewski's was to be a citation dictionary. A file was begun which by the mid 1950's had grown to 6.5 million slips. Publication began with volume 1 in 1958 and was completed with the issuance of a supplementary volume 11 in 1969. Doroszewski's dictionary contains 125,000 entries. The new Polish dictionary appeared ten years after completion of Doroszewski's. Volume 1 (A-K; xxxix, 1 103) came out in 1978, volume 2 (L-P, 1087 pp.) in 1979, and volume 3 (R-Z; 1103 pp.) in 1981. The publisher is Panstwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, the state scientific publishing house. According to the publication data, the first printing was 303,000—truly amazing for a country of 35 million—and was by subscription only. A second printing is in preparation.1 It was prepared by the Academy of Sciences' Polish Dictionary Editorial Staff, housed in the Staszic Palace at the head of Krakowskie Przedmiescie in Warsaw, a few steps from the university. Comparing the names of the 18 entry editors and three volume editors listed on the facing titlepage with the names in Doroszewski's dictionary shows that two-thirds of the current staff 170The New Polish Dictionary was already at work under Doroszewski. The chief editor of the new work is Mieczysfaw Szymczak, director of the Polish Language Institute at Warsaw University, who seems to have inherited several of Doroszewski's functions—for example, a radio program on language usage and editorship of the popular Poradnik Jezykowy and the scholarly Prace Filologiczne. In reviewing Szymczak's dictionary I will note ways in which it differs from Doroszewski's dictionary. But the dependence of Szymczak's dictionary (Sz. for short) on Doroszewski's dictionary (D. for short) is quite direct, and any detailed discussion of Sz. involves commenting on the current state of Polish lexicographical practice. The relevance of such a commentary is increased by the fact that the Polish Dictionary Editorial Staff is currently launching a ten- (or fifteen-) volume sequel to D. which will take them the rest of the century to complete. I hope what I have to say about Sz. will prove useful to that effort. I apologize in advance for presuming to criticize, on the basis of a few weeks' cursory examination, this monument to the industry of a dedicated team of professional lexicographers. The chief difference between Sz. and D. is that D. is a citation dictionary whereas Sz. is not. In D. the lion's share of each entry is given over to full-sentence literary citations, which are identified through chapter-and-verse references to an 80-page list of sources. Sz. does not have this direct relationship to published literature. Its entries consist mainly of definitions, illustrations, and set phrases. Hence while D.'s 15,000 double-column pages carry 125,000 entries, Sz. with one-fifth as many...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2160-5076
Print ISSN
0197-6745
Pages
pp. 169-200
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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