A Bilingual Thesaurus of Everyday Life in Medieval England: Some Issues at the Interface of Semantics and Lexicography

Louise Sylvester, Imogen Marcus, Richard Ingham

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Abstract

This paper reports on issues at the interface between semantics and lexicography that arose out of the data collection and classification of vocabulary in Anglo-Norman and Middle English in order to create a bilingual thesaurus of everyday life in medieval England. The Bilingual Thesaurus project is based at Birmingham City University and the University of Westminster. Issues to be resolved included the definition of an occupational domain; the creation of a methodology of data collection; the delimitation of domain-specific vocabulary; making distinctions between sense and usage; and the categorisation of the lexical items. Some of these issues are general to thesaurus-making, some are specific to the making of historical thesauruses, while some are unique to the production of a thesaurus of two languages whose use overlapped for several centuries in the late medieval period in England.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Lexicography
Early online date11 May 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 May 2016

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