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  • Dicos 2020: Occitan Lexicon Online
  • Kathryn Klingebiel

online Occitan lexical resources, Occitan lexicography, paralexicography, Congrès de la Lenga Occitana, Dicod’Òc, collaborative lexicography, crowdsourcing, digitization, multimedia database, Occitan dictionaries, Occitan dialects, nòrma classica, graphie alibertine, decentralization of the norm and of description, Conselh de la Lenga Occitana

DICOS 2020 (<>) continues to broaden its bibliographic documentation of online Occitan lexical resources. In 2016, a short article introduced readers of Tenso 31 to the DICOS site (Klingebiel “Occitan Lexicon Online”). The choice of “lexicon” in the title has proven its suitability, with its broad applicability to any listing of lexemes. DICOS was intended to list virtually everything that could provide access to Occitan lexical resources online. The great surprise from that first round of research was the sheer number of files located, more than 200, in a variety of digital formats. My initial enthusiasm has been tempered by three years’ worth of continued searching and evaluation. Revised and reorganized, DICOS 2020 is presented here with this caveat: while the Occitan lexicon is increasingly easy to explore online, in terms of coverage, relevance, and authenticity it is unevenly served by the internet.

DICOS leaves readers free to judge individual resources by the degree to which they conform to the parameters of formal lexicography, that is, analyzing and describing the “semantic, syntagmatic, and paradigmatic relationships within the lexicon of a language” (Wikidiff, s.v. lexicology/lexicography). These parameters are neatly summarized in the materials introducing the Diccionari general de la lenga occitana (DGLO): each entry is intended to specify gender; number; grammatical category; etymology or origin; first attestation; linguistic register; definition (in Occitan); translation (into French, Italian, Castilian, Catalan); a pan-Occitan referent (the most widely-used form across the Occitanophone territory); synonyms and antonyms; related expressions; regional variants; proverbs; literary citations and useful sources.

Beyond the traditional parameters of lexicography, DICOS 2020 seamlessly accommodates works of paralexicography and of “lexicographie profane” (“crowdsourced lexicography” as a discipline of “citizen science”), in recognition of the three-way continuum of modern-day lexical resources. [End Page 75]

The category of “para-lexicographie grand public” (Margarito 172), often accused of non-professional practices, includes such alternative resources as: glossaries of critical editions and anthologies, vocabularies of famous authors, nineteenth-century compilations of “gasconismes,” children’s picture dictionaries (ima[t]gièrs), listings of proverbs, translation sites, sites for language-learners, popularized listings of toponymy and etymology, and blog listings of “les mots de mon patois,” all found in DICOS 2020.

Beyond the scope of DICOS, despite their demonstrable usefulness for lexical documentation, are: synonym, antonym, and rhyme dictionaries; travel phrasebooks; manuals of bon usage; spell-checkers; lexicons for computers; software for manipulating lexical data; and even the French-English-French discussion forum and other translation tools found at <> and similar sites.

Most of these works lying beyond the pale of canonical lexicography, “ouvrages qui occupent une marge floue, mais bien vivante” (Margarito 172), have appeared in response to the needs of electronic media and of crowdsourcing. While they comport certain risks,1 these works offer various advantages, including wide-ranging sources, relatively low cost of revision (as against reprinting), and ease of access and consultation.

The modern generation of lexical resources has appeared in three stages: (i) digitization of print works (fr. rétroconversion); (ii) production of online dictionaries and databases; and (iii) creation of collaborative projects.

Digitized versions of texts are widely available, e.g., the IEO-Paris’ “Documents per l’estudi de la lenga occitana,” with its more than 120 dictionaries and grammars of Occitan. Digitization has significantly modified the format of many print resources: e.g., the twenty-five volumes of the Französisches etymologisches [End Page 76] Wörterbuch (FEW), for the full Gallo-Romance lexicon, and the Dictionnaire de l’occitan médiéval (DOM), whose seven print fascicles (“a”–“album”) have been reworked into a single searchable online database which now covers “a” through “zyrt.” Selig and Arnold look at changes to the entire DOM infrastructure occurring in the course of digitization.

The power of html and of the relational database has been harnessed in the compilation of interlinked...


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