CHWP B.15 Merrilees, "Medieval Dictionary Entry"

4. The Dictionarius of Firmin Le Ver

Papias, Hugutio and Balbus, but most particularly the last, are sources for a dictionary that would appear to combine all the advances made in medieval lexicography, the Dictionarius (DLV) of Firmin Le Ver, a Cartusian prior of Abbeville in north-eastern France, who compiled his bilingual work between the years 1420 and 1440. I have noted elsewhere how Le Ver used the two metalinguistic positions under discussion here, namely the PL and the PD, but it was also noted that he incorporates an extensive use of the marginal position for giving grammatical attributes of gender for nouns and voice for verbs. As far as I can tell the use of the margin comes directly from the Latin-French Aalma, a much reduced bilingual form of the Catholicon, and indirectly from Papias.[6] The following DLV entries for Machia, Machina and derivatives show Le Ver's use of the three positions, the uses again put within braces:

We should point out that Le Ver reconfigures the Balbus material into macro-entries which allow convenient alphabetical searching through a base headword while preserving derivational links in an ordered set of subheadwords (Merrilees, forthcoming). Layout of course plays a major part and we must admit that our samples of Hugutio and the Catholicon do not reflect some of the very interesting progress that was being made by copyists in setting out those lexicons. Le Ver, too, draws on the work of earlier scribes to create a layout which is a model for showing off the text to the best visual advantage and which through spatial and texual organization provides a highly searchable document.

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[6] Roques 1938 omits not only the marginal information but also much of the metalinguistic material in the body of the entries.