| CHWP B.7 || || Kibbee, "16th-Century Bilingual Dictionaries (French-English)" |
1.5.7. Encyclopedic Information
The final element I shall discuss is the nature of the encyclopedic information included in these dictionaries.
Encyclopedic information can be proper names or references to specific events, or it can be explanations of the use
of the object denoted by a word.
Event: Palsgrave: I Ryse as commens or subiectes do agaynst their prince whan they rebell: Ie
mutine, iay mutiné, mutiner. prime coniu. I remember well ynough whan the comens of
Cornewall dyd ryse: Il me souvient asses bien quant les communs de Cornouaille se mutinerent
[Reference to uprising of 1497].
Hollyband: Le reveille-matin des Françoys, the booke shewing the falshood of the authors of the
massaker or slaughter traitrously committed on the persons of the most noble & faithfull christians of
Fraunce, Anno 1572
Place: Hollyband 1580a: La Bourse de Londres est couverte d'ardoises, the Royal Exchaunge is covered
People: Palsgrave: I Pronostycate I shewe thynges to come/ Ie pronostique. prime. I
have sene the boke that dyd pronostycate the comyng of Luther twenty yere or he was borne: Iay
ueu le liure qui pronostiqua laduenement de Luther uingt ans auant quil fut né.
This use of proper names can be culled largely from the index of words. More problematic is the thematic linking
of entries. I provide here a small sample of the words that might be linked by common reference to the law:
Palsgrave: I Regyster I put a thyng in writynge in a booke of recorde/ Ie registre. prime
coniu. My fathers wyll is regystred in the bysshops courte: Le testament de mon pere est
registré or enregistre en la court de lesglise, or de leuesque.
I Reioyne as men do that answere to the lawe and make answere to the byll that is put up agaynst
them/ Ie liticonteste. prime coniuga. He can nat forsake his iudge nowe for he hath
reioyned: Il ne peult poynt appeller de son iudge maytenant car il a liticontesté.
Hollyband: Resusciteur de proces vuïdez, a raiser up of matters already decided and iudged, to
renew an olde sute: m.
The range of topics here is limitless, but just as an example, such webs of linked words, on topics such as religion
(we see the Protestant attitude towards the Catholic Church in Hollyband's explication of the pun in Rabelais),
sexuality, etc. are sure to add to our understanding both of the intentions of our lexicographers, and of the major
themes of 16th-century intellectual life. As a starting point for the semantic classification of the vocabulary included
we might use something like Matoré (1988) as well as the list of subject areas covered that the lexicographers
themselves have provided either on the title page or in the preface. The ability to analyze these dictionaries as full
texts provides a test for Matoré's approach and conclusions.
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