In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Reviews275 I have not really counted the references quoted in the lexicographic articles published in the last few years in Cahiers de lexicologie and in the new Lexique, but their perusal shows that a similar ratio obtains there as well, with French articles being quoted in overwhelming frequency with some English and a few German ones added, the rest of the languages being quoted only rarely. In his preface to the third volume of the Studien, H. E. Wiegand mentions 'the scientific isolation' of lexicography dealing with German, and in a sense, he seems to be vindicated by these numbers. On the other hand, the only slightly better score of Dictionaries (where we must take into consideration the much broader range of the topics) would also seem to suggest that lexicography still is largely compartmentalized by languages and that the flow of information from one center of work to another is not yet what would be desirable. Be this as it may, the four volumes are valuable. Two more volumes are planned; let us hope they will appear soon and will have the same high standard. Ladislav Zgusta University of Illinois D. Geeraerts and Gerard Janssens, Wegwijs in woordenboeken. Een kritisch overzicht van de lexicografie van het Nederlands. Assen: Van Gorcum, 1982. 149 pp. HfI. 22.50, paper. 276Reviews "Lexicography (the writing of dictionaries) is probably the only branch of linguistic science with which the non linguist reader has frequent contact after leaving school: a dictionary is to be found in almost every home, a source of information which is regularly consulted, whereas a grammar is seldom to be found on the bookshelf of the man in the street" (p. 1). So begins (in this reviewer's translation) this plainly written, down-to-earth "Guide to dictionaries" creates for the man in the street in the Netherlands language area. The authors are "professional lexicographers, associated with the only scientific institute for lexicography in the Netherlandic language area, the Instituut voor Nederlandse Lexicologie in Leiden" (p. 4). This claim is true when taken literally, if the use of the adjective scientific (wetenschappelijk) is intended to exclude other locations where Dutch dictionaries are studied and written, in some cases by full-time lexicographers, e.g., the major commercial dictionary publishers. Another group of active Dutch lexicographers and lexicologists, among the most active creators of vocabulary and terminology in the language today, is passed over in silence, the exclusion presumably stemming from the limitation of the book to monolingual Dutch dictionaries—these are the specialist units at the European Community and other interstate agencies where Dutch is an official language and specialist dictionaries with a Dutch component are prepared. Such dictionaries are excluded because "we limit ourselves to monolingual dictionaries of Dutch, i.e. we do not talk about translation dictionaries. The reason for this is simply that the evaluation of translation dictionaries requires an adequate knowledge of the other language, a qualification which we as Netherlandicists lack" (p. 2). This is all very true, but if that is the attitude of the specialists at the Instituut voor Nederlandse Lexicologie, Leiden, then they are ignoring a major and growing source of contemporary Dutch lexicon and usage, the linguistic usage of multilingual bodies and agencies, usage which is shaped by multilingualism and recorded in multilingual dictionaries Reviews277 and lexicons, perhaps exclusively so. For many languages in the modern world, e.g., Afrikaans and many languages of the Soviet Union, the most important dictionaries are bilingual dictionaries. They are not just "translation dictionaries," to use Geeraerts and Janssens' subtly denigrating term; rather, they contain a component in the source language which is definitive and worthy of study. In fact, in their brief sketch of the history of Netherlands lexicography, Geeraerts and Janssens have to ignore their own exclusion of bilingual dictionaries, because the first Dutch dictionaries were "translation dictionaries" between Latin or French and Dutch. We might be bold enough to claim that Dutch lexicography began as a bilingual exercise, passed through a monolingual phase, and is now inescapably bilingual (or multilingual) again, a tendency which is likely to grow, given the location and international involvement of the Dutch-speaking territories. Geeraerts and Janssens direct...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
2160-5076
Print ISSN
0197-6745
Pages
pp. 275-282
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.