Week: 02/05 – 06/05

Lecture Room: Building 1 – Room 1.38

Schedule: 09:30 – 12:30  |  14:00 – 17:00




The module comprises 9 three-hour sessions falling into two Subunits:

Subunit A. Western European lexicography from antiquity to the late medieval period (Paolo Vaciago/Christine Ganslmayer)
Subunit B. Historical lexicography from the late medieval period to the 20th century (Anja Lobenstein-Reichmann/ Laura Balbiani)

Subunit A
Objectives, contents and structure of the module; references (Paolo Vaciago); 

1. The late antique heritage I (Paolo Vaciago):

  • overview of the material and examination of samples of the main documents;

2. The late antique heritage II (Paolo Vaciago):

  • lexicography and grammar;
  • typological variety of the material: macro- and microstructures;
  • sources, processes of compilation, patterns of transmission of lexicographical material.

3. Tradition and innovation in the Middle Ages (Paolo Vaciago):

  • conservative and innovative traits of the early medieval material;
  • the appearance and the role of vernacular languages, focussing on the English and German areas;
  • innovative formats employed for lexicographical purposes;
  • experiments with word families: the derivative method.

4. Early Medieval bilingual lexicography (Christine Ganslmayer)

Subunit B:

5. General introduction to the subunit (Laura Balbiani):

  • Objectives, contents and structure of the subunit, references;
  • Metalexicographical access to historical dictionaries or how to analyse and to review historical dictionaries;
  • Overview and analysis of selected dictionaries for example concerning their macro-and microstructures, the importance of Latin as a source language, the development of the vernacular languages and the philosophical and ideological bias of the lexicographers;
  • From the 14th to the 16th century (Laura Balbiani):
  • The 14th and the 15th century: late medieval dictionaries: Vocabularius ex quo, Vocabularius incipiens teutonicum ante latinum and others;
  • The 16th century, pre-modern dictionaries and the – Reformation: Dasypodius, Maaler, Henisch, Hulsius.

6. The 17th century (Laura Balbiani):

  • The first language societies and their lexicographic interests;
  • Patriotic impulse as an impetus for new lexicographic projects (Schottel and Stieler).

7. The Enlightenment:

  • New approaches to the description of vocabulary;
  • Normative and descriptive lexicography;
  • Selected samples from the dictionaries of the dictionaries of Frisch, Steinbach, Adelung and Campe.

8. Bilingual lexicography:

  • Development of bilingual lexicography (Matthias Kramer, 1700-1702);
  • Pragmatic contexts, cultural and historical imprints, typologies (travel / learners’ dictionaries…).

9. Dictionary criticism (Deutsches Wörterbuch der Brüder Grimm) (Anja Lobenstein-Reichmann)


Please see the module description for further information.