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

REVIEWS Reviews1 45 Ladislav Zgusta with the assistance of Donna M. T. Cr. Farina. Lexicography Today: An Annotated Bibliography ofthe Theory of Lexicography. Lexicographica, series maior 18. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 1988. xv + 349 pp. DM 128; US $75. For DSNA members: DM 90; US $52. Dictionaries sometimes mirror the personality of their editors, and so too bibliographies, particularly this one. Zgusta has gathered nearly 3,000 recent articles, chapters, and books in an alphabetical list organized by the first author's surname. Each entry is provided with an epitome, typically 30 words long, and indices allow access to the main list. These four indices encourage reference through the names of additional authors, personal names discussed in the titles or epitomes (e.g., Murray, Mel'chuk, Saussure), "selected names of languages discussed," and topics. Like many who compile large reference works, Zgusta invites users "not to limit attention to . . . furtive searches, but really to read the Bibliography in extenso." Fortunately the indices make that reading an option rather than a necessity. Zgusta is a polyglot with an affection for polylingualism. Thus it requires three languages for him to state the temporal scope of his compilation: "In a bibliography, it is as true as elsewhere that le mieux est l'ennemi du bien: one must make a stop somewhere within the constant flow of new publications: in this case the terminus usque ad quern is Winter '86/'87" (vii). (The double colons in this sentence reflect a stylistic penchant also revealed in Zgusta's contribution to this issue of Dictionaries.) In thanking Farina for her work as a research assistant, he declares her responsibility for, inter alia: "the whole transformation of the mundane slips in the embadocibotia or embadophylacia into the sublime electric impulses within the memory of the (mostly) docile computer" (xiv-xv). Herebelow follows a sentence whose amplification of the initial predicate (through "in short" and "in other words") adds little to substance but much to charm: "This is a bibliography of works that deal with the theory, methods, and procedures of lexicography (in short, with what is called in French and German 'metalexicography'); in other words, with all the appurtenances of the compilation of language-oriented dictionaries as well as with their study, use, and criticism" (vii). (Has anyone written in this style since the lamented, learned, and 1 46Reviews noumenal Dr. Timofey Pnin and his insouciant progenitor?) Zgusta wishes users to appreciate that he has retained terms in the language of the entry where a translation into English would distort the original—for instance, Russian tolkovyj slovar' 'explanatory dictionary' designates only "the general monolingual dictionary," and a French dictionnaire analogique is not quite the same as an English thesaurus. In short, "to translate is already to interpret" (viii). Even so, he sometimes overindulges his taste for multilingualism; non vidi seems to me to offer no advantages over "not seen" (viii), though in my search among the entries for one labeled in this way, I could not find non vidi in use. Almost universally, Zgusta has seen and read 'em all. Respecting terminological differences is, as Zgusta explains, an important aspect of careful scholarship. There are, however, separate classifications in the topical index that are not transparently distinct: comparative analysis of dictionaries, comparison of dictionaries; data bank, database; definition, explanation of meaning; entryword, headword; norm, normative ; regional variation, regionalisms. Some of these categories, in short, are not obviously different. Bibliographies should be judged on two grounds: inclusiveness and accuracy. Zgusta claims that "this is not a bibliography of the single languages, but of general problems of lexicographic theory." Taking Dictionaries 7 (1985) as a test case, I find this principle generally applied. Two essays on the history of lexicography are omitted (in keeping with the exclusion noted on p. vii of the preface) even though readers might judge them to have theoretical interest. One essay devoted to the quite specific problem of representing pronunciations in a variety of English is listed (perhaps because its author has written other articles and chapters that do deal with "general problems.") On "inclusiveness," then, it appears that Zgusta has embraced a principle but is willing to dally with the definition. Sometimes...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
2160-5076
Print ISSN
0197-6745
Pages
pp. 145-147
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.