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

Reviews279 be it on pedagogical dictionaries for schools or dictionaries for the public. Let us hope that this dictionary will soon start appearing, with the best auguries. Ladislav Zgusta University of Illinois Urbana, Illinois * * * Two New Frisian Dictionaries Wurdboek fan de Fryske Taal/Woordenboek der Friese Taal I (A-Behekst). K. F. van der Veen. Ljouwert/Leeuwarden, The Netherlands: Fryske Akademy, 1984. lxviii + 332 pp. Dutch Guilders 67.50. Frysk Wurdboek I (Frysk-Nederlânsk). J. W. Zantema. Ljouwert/Leeuwarden: A. J. Osinga, 1984. 1220 pp. Dutch Guilders 49.50. Frysk Wurdboek II (Nederlânsk-Frysk). J. W. Zantema. Ljouwert/Leeuwarden: A. J. Osinga, 1985. 921 pp. Dutch Guilders 42.50. Recent years have seen the publication of two major new dictionaries of Frisian. Lest there be any confusion, it should be clear from the onset that Frisian is spoken in three major dialect areas, two of which—North and East Frisian—are in northern Germany. These dictionaries cover West Frisian, which is the indigenous language of somewhat under half a million residents of the Dutch province of Friesland. Both dictionaries were published under the auspices of the Fryske Akademy (Frisian Academy), although they are intended to serve quite different purposes. The Wurdboek fan de Fryske Taal (WFT), of which the above is the first volume, is meant to serve as a comprehensive inventory of modern Frisian, and thus will be of interest primarily to the specialist or the interested layperson. In contrast, the Frysk Wurdboek (FW) is a more standard bilingual dictionary in two volumes. /. The Wurdboekfan de Fryske Taal The WFT will eventually consist of some eighteen volumes, of which the first two have now appeared. Each book will count approximately 400 pages, and it is anticipated that the 280Reviews set will be complete in twenty years. The WFT is monolingual, in the sense that only Frisian words are included, but the definitions are in Dutch rather than in Frisian. To some extent this decision, which generated a great deal of controversy, seems to have been a concession to the Dutch government, which subsidized the compilation of the dictionary. One result is that in many instances the words, instead of being defined, are translated into a Dutch equivalent. As long as the defining language was not Frisian itself, it is unfortunate that there was not a choice made for greater international access by also listing the English equivalent. Those who do not know Dutch will have to go through the awkward and often unreliable process of finding the Dutch equivalent of a Frisian word and then determining its English meaning. The foreword to the dictionary is in Frisian, though followed by a Dutch translation. This prefatory material details the history and methodology of the project to compile a "Large Frisian Dictionary," an undertaking dating back to before the Second World War. It explains that the material on which the dictionary is based consists mainly of literary Frisian from 1800 to 1975. One exception to this is a few words from the spoken language offered by informants. The beginning date— 1800—traditionally divides Middle Frisian from New Frisian. One must wonder, however, whether the editors truly plan to adhere to the closing date, as the last volume appears in the next millennium. Perhaps by that time there will be a supplement covering the intervening years. Aside from the material taken from earlier dictionaries and certain other miscellaneous sources, the most important basis for the WFT is a collection of over one and a half million words, in context, derived from a cross section of literary genres. The words were chosen to reflect the approximate literary output of each decennium since 1 800. A list of sources from which the words were taken is included in the introductory material. Following the foreword are the directions that guide the reader in the use of the dictionary. After this section comes a list of phonetic symbols, which is based on the Copenhagen Reviews281 conference of 1925. The information on pronunciation is rather sparse, it should be noted. For instance, each phoneme is illustrated by a single Frisian example. A few more illustrations of each phoneme would have been useful, especially since some...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 279-286
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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.