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1 Lexicography, Printing Technology, and the Spread of Renaissance Culture Patrick Hanks Institute of Formal and Applied Linguistics, Charles University.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Lexicography, Printing Technology, and the Spread of Renaissance Culture Patrick Hanks Institute of Formal and Applied Linguistics, Charles University."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Lexicography, Printing Technology, and the Spread of Renaissance Culture Patrick Hanks Institute of Formal and Applied Linguistics, Charles University in Prague Leeuwarden: Euralex 2010

2 Talk Outline A major figure in European lexicography was Robert Estienne ( ) of Paris and Geneva, scholar, printer, publisher, theologian, and lexicographer. – Estienne‘s achievement was dependent not only on the invention of printing (Gutenberg) but also on innovations in typographic design (esp. by Nicolas Jenson of Venice). Renaissance dictionaries are different in kind from what went before: – they took advantage of the new possibilities for presentation of information and replication and dissemination of texts; – 1) massive scholarly undertakings such as Estienne‘s Thesaurus Linguae Latinae (1531) – 2) polyglot works: innumerable editions more or less loosely based on the work of Ambrogio Calepino – 3) Cawdrey is not very important in all this 2

3 The earliest printed dictionaries Typography in early printed dictionaries was based on the type styles of medieval manuscripts. – Hard to read, especially when reduced to a small size. Compare the black-letter fonts used by Gutenberg (1455) with the Antiqua typeface of Nicolas Jenson (Venice, 1468) The great Renaissance typographers (Graffo, Bembo, Garamond, Baskerville, etc.) took their lead from Jenson (not from Gutenberg) 3

4 The typography of Gutenberg‘s Bible (c. 1455) 4

5 Nicholas Jenson‘s Roman Antiqua typeface (c. 1468) 5

6 Promptorium Parvulorum “The young persons’ store room [of knowledge]” – specifically, a handbook for young learners of Latin A bilingual English-Latin dictionary for encoding use Compiled in manuscript c [i.e. before printing was available] by Galfridus Anglicus, a Dominican friar in Norfolk. – Many manuscript copies were made First printed in 1499 by Richard Pynson – using black-letter type, like Gutenberg and Caxton – similar in appearance to the monkish manuscript versions of this text 6

7 Promptorium Parvulorum in print (Pynson 1499) 7

8 Robert Estienne (1531): Thesaurus Linguae Latinae – a comprehensive inventory of the lexicon – each sense of entry includes many citations from major Latin authors – monolingual (i.e.) Latin definitions (or paraphrases) plus occasional glosses in French – much idiomatic phraseology – careful attention to typographic legibility – for use by scholars and readers The Renaissance Revolution (lexicographical) 8

9 R. Estienne (1531) 9

10 Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (1572) Compiled by Robert’s son, Henri Estienne Even bigger than Thesaurus Linguae Latinae – and equally scholarly – The Greek typography is much less successful than the Roman alphabets of Jenson and Garamond faint, spidery, and hard to read some apparently unmotivated variations (e.g. two versions of the letter beta, alternating apparently randomly) 10

11 H Estienne, Greek (1572) 11

12 A French-Latin dictionary for language learners R. Estienne’s Dictionnaire francoislatin (1539) a practical work aimed at French students learning Latin. Gives Latin equivalents for many idiomatic French phrases, e.g. (s.v. mot): – l’ordre et collocation des mots ‘verborum constructio’ 12

13 Dictionnaire francoislatin (1539) 13

14 A Latin-French dictionary for students R. Estienne’s Dictionarium Latino-Gallicum (1552) – counterpart to the Dictionnaire francoislatin of 1539 – contains carefully chosen citations (from ‘the best authors’), illustrating idiomatic phraseology – a practical guide 14

15 Dictionarium Latino-Gallicum (1552) 15

16 The Estienne firm at work According to his son Henri II, in the 1530s and 40s “There sat down to table daily a staff of ten assorted nationalities, together with family and guests, all speaking Latin, including the servants” Guests would have included many of the leading Parisian intellectuals of the day Armstrong (1954) estimates that in its heyday the firm employed a staff of 50 (2 type-founders, 18 compositors, 5 proof-readers, 21 printers, 3 apprentices, and one shop boy), in addition to the master himself 16

17 The move to Geneva In the 1550s, Robert Estienne, a free-thinking Humanist intellectual, found it prudent to remove from Paris to Geneva – leaving the Paris business to his son Henri (compiler of Thesaurus Linguae Graecae). Father Robert set up a new printing and publishing business in Geneva. 17

18 Palsgrave (1530): the first true bilingual dictionary Lesclaircissement de la langue francoyse. – A fairly full inventory of the French vocabulary; – Arranged in ‘tables’ of parts of speech – Extensive examples of (idiomatic?) phraseology Many of the (invented) example sentences are quite comical; – Also includes a French grammar and a disquisition on the nature of the French language; – Typography: black-letter for English, roman Antiqua for French 18

19 Palsgrave (1530) 19

20 What tools were available to Renaissance translators? Few bilingual dictionaries appeared in C16 Europe; no-one followed Palsgrave’s lead Instead, translation was mediated through Latin, which served as a sort of ‘interlingua’. The main lexical tool for travellers, readers, and translators was a Latin-based polyglot dictionary called a ‘Calepino’ 1st edition of Ambrogio Calepino’s Dictionarium: 1502 Innumerable different editions of ‘Calepino’ appeared in the C16, some containing glosses in up to 11 languages (including Portuguese and Japanese), published in 8 or 9 different European cities Calepino himself died in 1510, but his name was being used well into C17 as a generic term for a multilingual glossary. Typographically legible – no black-letter, not even for German, in the editions I looked at 20

21 Calepino: Basle edition,

22 C16 Latin dictionaries in England Sir Thomas Elyot, Dictionary (1538) – Latin-English, aimed at young students, mainly for decoding the meaning of Latin texts (not encoding speech or writing in Latin) – greatly indebted to Calepino – the wording of definitions is generally very clear – typographically, it is a disappointing throwback to Pynson’s black-letter (slightly improved) – it makes no use of typography to distinguish different categories of information, e.g. headwords from definitions 22

23 Elyot‘s Dictionary (1538) 23

24 Dictionarium Linguae Latinae et Anglicanae (1587) Compiled by Thomas Thomas, printer to the University of Cambridge Like Elyot’s work, a Latin-English dictionary aimed at students – typographically very legible: roman for Latin, italic for English – The most popular Latin dictionary in England for the ensuing 50 years – clear but unobtrusive phonolgical and grammatical apparatus – Explanations by glosses and synonyms 24

25 Thomas Thomas (1589) 25

26 The start of a bilingual tradition At the end of C16, two bilingual dictionaries: Florio 1598: Italian-English Minsheu 1599: Spanish-English, English- Spanish, – all in one alphabetical list – English headwords in black-letter – Spanish headwords in roman – Self-indexing, with cross-references and apparaus in italic 26

27 Florio (1598) 27

28 Minsheu

29 Conclusions C15 innovations in the technologies of printing and typographic design had a profound effect on the art and craft of lexicography Exciting innovations in every aspect of lexicography took place in C15 continental Europe, associated with Renaissance scholarship and Humanist thinking The leading figures (the fathers of European lexicography) are Ambrogio Calepino of Bergamo Robert Estienne of Paris Calepino‘s 1502 work was used as a base for a great number of polyglot dictionaries, with Latin as a conceptual „interlingua“. Estienne was the greater scholar and the better printer. His 1531 is essentially a monolingual dictionary of Latin We are in an analogous situation today: innovations in computer technology open the way for new developments in lexicography The future of lexicography holds wonderful possibilities for interactive explanation of terminology and phraseology 29


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