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DOST: Its History and Completion Margaret G. Dareau 'he Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (DOST) has been compiled over a period of some eighty years according to the historical principles laid down in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). DOST developed through four main phases, identified as those periods which saw substantial innovations affecting the text of the published dictionary. The first phase established DOST as a historical dictionary descended from the OED. This paper will outline the project's external history, as well as how the editors responsible for DOST during the four phases perceived their task, and also some of the major methodological changes they introduced. Phase I: 1919-1948 On 4April 1919, Dr. (later Sir) William A. Craigie, co-editor of the OED, read a paper titled "New Dictionary Schemes" to the Philological Society in London. In this paper,1 he suggested that, following the completion of OED, a number of supplementary dictionary projects should be undertaken. These he referred to as "period dictionaries ," each being concerned with a discrete chronological period in the history of English. His last suggested scheme, though, did not cover 'The original handwritten text, written on the reverse of the galley proofs for the OED entries Visory to Vitrialis in DOST's archives, at present housed in the former DOST office at 27 George Square, Edinburgh. Throughout this article, when a quotation bears no other reference, the quoted document resides among the DOST archives. Dictionaries:Journal oftheDictionary Society ofNorth America 23 (2002) DOST: Its History and Completion209 a period of English; rather, it was the dictionary that, one might fairly surmise, lay closest to his heart, a dictionary of the "older Scottish." This proposal bore fruit as the Dictionary ofthe Older Scottish Tongue. There seems never to have been any doubt in Craigie's mind that this dictionary of Scots should restrict itself to the earlier period — up to 1700. He saw the language as dividing naturally into the two periods now defined by the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (DOST) and the Scottish NationalDictionary (SND): Considered by itself [the older Scottish tongue] is a very definite thing, beginning with the fourteenth century, flourishing as a literary medium from about 1375 to 1600, and maintaining a precarious existence in writing till towards the close of the seventeenth century, when a new period definitely sets in and continues unbroken down to the present day. (Craigie 1931,9) Craigie set to work seriously on DOST in 1921, when, with the help of volunteer readers, he began to expand the collection of quotations inherited from the OED. In the winter of 1925-26, Craigie, by this time professor of English in the University of Chicago, and already involved with the nascent Dictionary of American English (DAE),2 pronounced himself satisfied with his progress: "The collection of material for the dictionary of older Scottish has proceeded so rapidly that it is now possible to make a real beginning to the work of editing which will be commenced this winter" (1931, 10). Pre-eminent among Craigie's assistants during this period was Miss Isabella B. Hutchen, his sister-inlaw , who worked for the dictionary from 1921 to 1945. Over this period she excerpted some three hundred volumes of printed and manuscript material and also organized the excerpting of other volunteers. Also deserving mention is George Watson, another Scot who had joined the Clarendon Press in 1907 and worked as an assistant on the OED till its completion, when he went to the University of Chicago as assistant professor working with Craigie on both DOST and DAE.3 2A 1925 addition to Craigie's 1919 "New Dictionary Schemes" paper describes his perception of the importance of recording the history ofAmerican English according to the principles of the OED, concluding that "This idea of a real historical Dictionary of American English has been taken up by the University of Chicago as part of its scheme for advanced language work" (1931, 12). 3In 1916 Craigie had suggested to Dr. William Grant, first Editor of SND, that Watson might play some part in editing the proposed dictionary of modern 210Margaret G. Dareau In 1929, a Memorandum of Agreement was drawn...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2160-5076
Print ISSN
0197-6745
Pages
pp. 208-231
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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