A Bibliography of Scandinavian Dictionaries (review)
- Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America
- Dictionary Society of North America
- Number 8, 1986
- pp. 258-262
- Additional Information
- Purchase/rental options available:
REVIEWS 258Reviews A Bibliography of Scandinavian Dictionaries. Eva Lund Haugen. Introduction by Einar Haugen. White Plains, NY: Kraus International Publications, 1984. xxii + 387 pp. $84.50. This is a most welcome volume. Just fifteen years ago—the twinkling of an eye for the clock of humanistic scholarship, if not technology, research tools such as that reviewed here were notably lacking for Scandinavian studies, particularly for the Germanic languages of the area, the definition of Scandinavian assigned in this volume (the area's Finno-Ugric languages are excluded). But it was not just Scandinavian studies that suffered from an absence of bibliographical research tools, for they were long lacking for Germanic and its dialects in general, ancient, medieval, and modern. The extant bibliographies were often enough tucked away in necrologies or in obscure, largely inaccessible, journals, and when one found them, they were either embarrassingly skimpy or inconveniently indexed, or both. Even the attestation of dialect forms was a formidable task, and the search for adequate information about such forms a lengthy quest. The Markey-Kyes-Roberge (1977) cross-indexed 8298-entry bibliography, the third but only volume that has appeared to date of a planned three-volume general history of Germanic and its dialects, was an attempt to fill a lamentable gap. And thereby hangs a connective thread between the volume reviewed here and its reviewer. The inspirational impetus for that Germanic bibliography stemmed in large measure from the Haugens. During the mid-1960s, Einar Haugen received ample federal funding for his Scandinavian Research Project at Harvard, and at least two of the long-range goals of that project were to produce a bibliography of Scandinavian languages and linguistics and to write a historical survey of the Scandinavian languages (see Einar Haugen, 1974, 1976). This reviewer was fortunate enough to join the Harvard project in 1968 for some five years. The research history contributed to Volume 9 of Current Trends in Linguistics (1972), which also appeared as an independent publication, was but one collaborative result of the Harvard project (see Haugen and Markey, 1972). Reviews259 Drawing in part on the materials assembled by the Harvard project, as well as many years of careful and affectionate sifting on her own, Eva Haugen has here succeeded in compiling an extensive, superbly organized, highly accurate, and deftly cross-referenced lexicographical bibliography, for which her husband has provided a lengthy and enlightening introduction (1-52). It is probably rare indeed that the direct results and subsequent fall-out of any one research project have accomplished so much in providing research aids for a field of studies, and particularly so for a language area that fostered so many richly endowed pioneers of language studies in general and lexicography in particular. After all, this is the part of the globe that produced that master of a highly principled collectanea, Carl von Linné, who, as a lexicographer of flora, stood in the wake of Ole Worm and Magnus Olafsson, the fathers of the "first attempt at an alphabetical dictionary of the Icelandic language" in 1650 (see Introduction, 9-10). This lexicographical bibliography contains 2527 sequentially numbered entries (67-341), which are carefully indexed: Author Index (345-74), Language Index (375-80), and Subject Index (381-87). The entries themselves are lucidly categorized: Monolingual, part 1 (67-157), Bilingual, part 2 (161-285), Multilingual, part 3 (289-341). And the entries in each part are further subcategorized: General, Abbreviations, Dialects, Etymology, Foreign Words, Frequency, Individual Authors, Names, Orthography, Pronunciation, Proverbs, Pseudonyms, Purity of Language, Puzzles, Quotations, Reverse, Rhyming, and so on. Want to find a dictionary of botanical and gardening terms? Then just look under that heading, or see the Subject Index. Or what about Romany words in Scandinavian or vice versa? Then see Romany in the Language Index; Romany has supplied its fair share of the lexicon, even slang words, e.g., Sw. tjâ 'girl' is ultimately from Sw. Romany sei f-> cf. Balkan/Russian Romany c'ai f. In short, Rand McNaIIy could not have provided a better user's guide to uncover the secrets of Scandinavian lexicography. Eva, you are to be cheered, not only for contents, but also for packaging. Einar Haugen's introduction...