DICTIONARY NEWS SPRING 2018

The big news here is the farewell celebration for DARE. We also have a piece by Eugene Green about use of the Middle English Dictionary.  And we commemorate the passing of Herbert Ernest Wiegand.

DARE Farewell Celebration

October 27, 2017

As of the end of 2017, the last three of DARE’s employees are no longer working, and the Dictionary of American Regional English is officially out of business.  We decided earlier to end with a celebration, focusing on what we have accomplished: five large volumes covering the whole of the alphabet plus one supplementary volume with geographical and social maps, an index to all the regional and usage terms used (e.g. Danish, euphemism, folk-etymology, Gulf States, Vermont, middle-aged, Shawnee, taboo) followed by all the entries in which such a term occurred, and more – great fun to browse.  DARE also has an online presence.

About 150 former DARE staff members, volunteers, student workers, supporters, and friends showed up on Oct. 27 in Madison to help us celebrate.  Many still live in Madison, but many others came from afar.  Thank you all for coming!  It was so great to talk with people we hadn’t seen for years, or even decades, to reminisce and find out what they are doing now. And great to meet others we had never met, ones before our time at DARE, or even some after our time there.  But, oh, the time was too short to talk with all of them!  Still, a good time was had by all.

Joan Hall has collected the comments of all the speakers at the celebration, including those of Steve Kleinedler, President of DSNA, for your enjoyment.

Luanne von Schneidemesser

 

We have remarks by Joan Hall, Rebecca Blank, Susan Zaeske, Steve Kleinedler, and Gabriel Sanders.

Joan Hall:

Good afternoon, and welcome. I’m delighted to see so many of you here today, and to realize that some have come from as far away as California, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York! We are honored that you cared enough to make the trip.

I’m also extremely pleased that many former DARE staff members and student assistants were able to come. And two of DARE’s original Fieldworkers are here! Barbara Myhre Vass did interviews for DARE in California and Illinois, and Peter Lee worked here in Wisconsin. (Please raise your hands.)

One thing that has been very gratifying over the years is that many people from the Madison community as well as the University have loved the project enough to volunteer their time to help us out. There are dozens of people who have done so, but one person in particular has devoted a huge amount of time to DARE, and we feel that she is a member of our staff: Judy Taylor will next week celebrate her 30th anniversary as a DARE volunteer. Judy, we thank you.

If you’ll look around you and check people’s nametags, you’ll see that there are quite a few with names printed in RED: those are people who have worked on the project as staff members, students, or volunteers. They have all been important to our success.

And if you look more closely, you’ll notice that two nametags are printed in BLUE–those represent members of our Board of Visitors, whom you will meet in a few minutes. Feel free to use these color-coded nametags as conversation starters!

We are honored this afternoon to have Chancellor Rebecca Blank here, and she will address us in just a moment. But first, I’d like to say a few words (hold up a sign for each):

bobbasheely

mubble-squibble

ramstugious

upscuddle

scrid

Where will you find these? In DARE, of course! And if you would like to know what they mean, feel free to browse in the two sets of print volumes that we’ve brought today, one on the far wall, and one in the entryway.

People often ask me if I have a favorite word, and I do: it’s bobbasheely. And later during this party I’m going to take this sign and go over to the corner and the photo booth and have my picture taken with it. I encourage all of you to do the same–alone or with a friend or two–choosing your favorite from a great selection of wonderful DARE words. You’ll have a souvenir photo, and DARE will have a copy for our guest book.

I would now like to introduce Chancellor Rebecca Blank. Chancellor Blank is an economist who has worked in three different presidential administrations.

She holds a doctoral degree from MIT, and has served on the faculty at Princeton, Northwestern, and the University of Michigan, where she was dean of the Ford School of Public Policy.

She came to the UW–Madison in 2013.

Please join me in a warm welcome for Chancellor Rebecca Blank.

Chancellor Blank:

Thank you, Joan, for that kind introduction. I am delighted to be here to share in this celebration of an extraordinary work of scholarship spanning 50 years.  The Dictionary of American Regional English has given us a whole new way to understand not only language but the rich array of cultures that define this nation.

Let me begin with heartfelt congratulations to:

Joan Houston Hall, chief editor emerita,

George Goebel,the dictionary’s current editor, and

Everyone affiliated with DARE over the years for this exceptional achievement.

(applause)

I want to thank the members of the DARE Board of Visitors who are with us today for dedicating themselves to helping steer this project over many years:

  • Cynthia Moore
  • Erin McKean

It is remarkable to think that it’s been more than half a century since students armed with tape recorders fanned out across the country to start collecting words and phrases for DARE.  From those humble beginnings grew what Time called a work of “staggering scholarship.”

Today, DARE is heralded around the world as a monumental accomplishment — what Harper’s  called “one of the most poignant reference books ever compiled.”

It has, of course, become essential to linguists, librarians, and researchers.  But it has also proven invaluable to police investigators trying to trace ransom notes … intellectual property lawyers … and Broadway dialect coaches.

DARE reflects the very best of humanities scholarship and the Wisconsin Idea. Your work has helped Wisconsin and the entire nation to understand, share, and celebrate our history and culture.

Over the summer, my husband Hanns and I spent a long weekend driving along the Great River Road on Wisconsin’s western border.  In a blog post, I mentioned that we were still debating the proper pronunciation of the word used to describe marshy areas along the Mississippi.  Joan immediately responded, explaining that most people say “sloo,” although a few say “sa-loo” or “sloff.”  And if you’re from the Northeast or Central Atlantic areas, you probably avoid the whole issue and say backwater or lagoon.

It is just a lot of fun to learn that there are at least 20 different ways to refer to the strip of grass between a sidewalk and a street, and that, if you’re in need of an outhouse, it’s a “biffy” in Wisconsin, a “garden house” in Pennsylvania, and a “johnny house” in Georgia.

For those of us who love language, DARE is a joy.  But it’s also serious scholarship, and I want to make three important points about that.

First, DARE is an exceptional example of a public-private partnership.  It has been supported with millions of dollars in state, federal, and private grants.  That’s not uncommon in the sciences, but it’s quite unusual in the humanities.

Second, over its long history, DARE has employed and trained hundreds of graduate and undergraduate students from a variety of majors, enriching their education and, for many, shaping their future careers.

Third, the national and international acclaim DARE has received over the decades has reflected on this entire university, burnishing our reputation for excellence in the humanities.  We thank you for that as well.

While tonight marks a milestone and a change for DARE, we all know that this is far from the final chapter. DARE’s impact and influence will continue unabated for generations and centuries to come.

Congratulations, and thank you for inviting me to mark this very special occasion with you!

Joan Hall:

Thank you, Chancellor Blank. We certainly appreciate your warm words for us personally and for this long-term project.

As part of the Department of English for our whole history, we have been graciously housed and warmly welcomed by our colleagues there. We have also received generous support and advice from the Graduate School and the College of Letters and Science. Here with us today is Associate Dean of the College of L&S, Susan Zaeske, who will also share a few remarks.

Dean Zaeske:

Boy oh beans!! Hoo-wee! Hot Ziggety! Holy Mackerel! And hip-hip-hooray for generating a half century of exemplary research that has contributed significantly to our understanding of American language and culture. Since the origins of this tremendous project in the 1940s when English professor Fred Cassidy conducted a pilot dialect survey in Wisconsin, the College of Letters & Science has been honored to serve as the home of what by 1962 became the Dictionary of American Regional English.

Speaking for the College of Letters & Science and Dean Karl Scholz who is unable to be here this afternoon, I want to echo Chancellor Blank’s words of gratitude for everyone who has worked on DARE and joined Letters & Science, the Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities among other funders in supporting DARE over the decades. Thanks to current editor Goebel and to members of the DARE Board of Visitors for their advocacy and guidance.

And I want to offer special thanks to Joan Hall. I will read from a February 2012 letter that former L&S Dean Gary Sandefur sent to Joan upon completion of the last volume of DARE. He wrote, “I also want to thank you personally for your leadership since you joined the DARE staff in 1975. You have played a significant role in carrying out the DARE mission through your dedication to Fred Cassidy’s vision, your advocacy and education on the revelations of DARE’s resources, and your guidance of the project following Fred Cassidy’s passing. In all of these activities you have come to exemplify academic staff leadership and excellence in the College of Letters & Science and at the UW-Madison.”

The chancellor mentioned how DARE has contributed to crime solving, intellectual property law, and the excellence of Broadway performances. I would like to stress how it has brought prestige to humanities research and particularly the humanities at UW-Madison. When I attend meetings of national humanities organizations such as the American Council of Learned Societies or the National Humanities Alliance and introduce myself as a humanities dean at UW-Madison, often the reply is, “Oh, you work at the DARE school.” Yes, I do.

Today we celebrate the creativity, diligence, and scholarly attention that has been invested into DARE for over half a century. The breadth of the collection and attention to archival and linguistic detail embodied in DARE have provided a rich and lasting cultural resource that will serve generations to come. Congratulations on this monumental achievement.

Joan Hall:

Thank you, Susan.

In addition to being a part of the University community, DARE has also been active in two scholarly societies, the American Dialect Society (which is our titular sponsor), and the Dictionary Society of North America, where we can interact with others from around the world who share our rather unusual occupation. I’m delighted that the current president of the Dictionary Society of North America is here today, and Steve Kleinedler would like to greet you on behalf of the society.

Steve Kleinedler:

The dismantling of a dictionary is a somber event. In my 28 years as a lexicographer, I’ve seen it happen far too frequently. Whether done incrementally by periodically slashing editorial and production positions or suddenly by announcing an unexpected closure, the industry has been drastically contracting. Unlike our colleagues overseas, not even the backing of educational institutions is enough to sustain dictionary projects in the modern American business and political climate.

As the president of the Dictionary Society of North America, an organization whose history is deeply intertwined with the Dictionary of American Regional English, it is my sad duty to witness the end of another American lexicographical institution. While we celebrate the work of countless scholars, lexicographers, designers, production personnel, volunteers, not to mention the contributions of so many speakers across the country going back to the 1960s, we do so with the bittersweet realization that it is coming to a close.

If general purpose dictionaries document the way a population uses language, regional dictionaries document the different ways a population uses language.

To see one’s own lexicon, one’s own way of speaking, one’s idiolect cataloged, described, and documented is extremely powerful and vital. In the late 90’s when I was working on page proofs for the fourth edition of the American Heritage Dictionary, I was shocked to see boughten was marked as a regional word. Boughten is a core vocabulary word for me, not just in phrases like boughten bread (which I heard frequently growing up in contrast to the default kind of bread – that which was homemade), but as the past participle: I’ve boughten some cupcakes for desert. So I turned to the Dictionary of American Regional English, and read all of the examples and looked at the distribution patterns. I felt validated — even though no one else on staff (and at that time, we still had a big staff) used it and everyone thought that it “sounded funny.” I was validated. I have learned how to use lie and lay and sit and set and whom, but I don’t budge on boughten. It’s an entrenched part of my idiolect, enshrining my upbringing in Michigan.

Lexicographers at DARE conducted research on a national level to document regional variation, validating speakers who might otherwise have thought their regional dialect was stigmatized, long before self-selected populations could take internet quizzes, selecting whether they watch fireflies or lightning bugs in the nighttime sky.

Like all the other American dictionaries that have been unceremoniously gutted in the past two decades, the mantra of “content wants to be free” continues its unblinking algorithmic march. Although everyone here has benefited from instantaneous electronic lexicographical resources, there is one thing people can do that data trawling cannot, and that is account for context. This fact will likely remain so until the Singularity. Algorithms lack context. Some may argue this is a feature, but it is a bug.

The Dictionary of American Regional English oozed humanity:  the humanness of the lexicon that it describes, and the humanness of the people who compiled it. Joan, Luanne, and many others including the late Frederic Cassidy have spent their entire adult lives on this noble endeavor. It is with great sadness we are here to witness its end, but it is important that we celebrate their immense achievement. It is through their work that the concept of regional variation is something to be upheld instead of dismissed; that diversity of language is an important component of our culture that should be documented. The six volumes and subsequent quarterly updates are a legacy to English spoken in the United States; their importance cannot be overstated. Today, we honor this legacy.

Joan Hall:

And now I’d like to introduce you to my longtime colleague, George Goebel, who has been with the DARE project since 1983, and who succeeded me as Chief Editor.

[Joan Hall summarizes his talk:

He welcomed people and drew a name out of a bag for the winner of a Wisconsin Historical Society mug with an image of a “bubbler.” He then mentioned that we had two stations where people could explore the digital version of DARE, and three stations where they could listen to any of the audio recordings we had recently made publicly available.]

Now please enjoy the refreshments, the displays, the audio recordings, the digital DARE, and the pop/soda/soda pop map over in the corner. Thank you for coming!

Link to audio recordings:

https://uwdc.library.wisc.edu/collections/amerlangs/

Link to press release:

https://news.wisc.edu/american-voices-from-the-past-live-again-as-dare-recordings-available-online/

1:  “The spirit of Fred Cassidy is with us”:  When we celebrated the 100th anniversary of Fred’s birth in 2007, we had this photo blown up to almost life-size, and he has come to all of our parties since then.

2:  “Pre-remarks”: People enjoyed the refreshments before we had our “program.” Left front is Kevin Kurdylo, Librarian and Archivist who was instrumental in our digitizing all the DARE audio recordings; shorter woman in pink at left: Sarah Thomas, a former student worker; woman with red and black scarf, Anja Wanner, a linguist in the UW English Department; woman in pink in center: Judy Taylor, our faithful volunteer for 30 years; right front, Marty Nystrand, Professor of English Emeritus; far right, Denise Lamb, former graduate assistant.

3:  Susan Zaeske, Associate Dean for Humanities, College of Letters and Science.

4:  Denise Lamb, former graduate assistant, with the two words she chose to be photographed with in our photo booth.

5:  L to R: Denise Lamb, former graduate assistant; Mary Jo Heck, former graduate assistant; and Rosemary Dorney, friend of DARE, selecting DARE  words to be photographed with.

6:  L to R: Mike Sweet, friend of DARE; Ted Hill, former DARE Editor; Roland Berns, former DARE Editor.

7:  Joan Hall with her favorite word.

8:  L to R: Phillip Certain, former Dean of the College of Letters and Science, who ensured DARE’s future when, in 1997, he agreed to support the position of a fund raiser for three years; Joan Hall; Nancy Nystrand, friend of DARE.

9:  Joan Hall with Gabriel Sanders, former student assistant (for all but one semester of his four years at the UW-Madison).

10:  Poster to explain the art works based on DARE words, which we exhibited at the party.

11:  DSNA President Steve Kleinedler.

12:  Joan Hall; Rebecca Blank, Chancellor of the UW-Madison; George Goebel, Chief Editor, DARE.

All photos taken by George E. Hall

 

Eugene Green, Boston University, has been working with the Middle English Dictionary for many years and has this to say about how its resources can be tapped.

The Middle English Dictionary as a Resource for Linguistic Analyses

In its current online form the Dictionary presents beguiling resources, at least for grammarians who value its data but find access to them daunting.  If its abundant quotations outmatch any other online source of Middle English, tapping them effectively demands an innovative approach different from methods already familiar. This demand issues from the challenge of conceiving efficient, reliable ways to harness quotations arranged under headwords for studies of grammatical patterns. The possibility of supporting grammatical inferences comprehensively by means of thorough quotation makes a search for an efficient approach to the Dictionary’s lexical resources highly inviting.  Paul Schaffner’s announcement (Newsletter Fall 2017) of current plans to modify the Dictionary, to turn it from a static to a dynamic resource opens again a grammarian’s quest for workable approaches. After all, his announcement suggests that the Dictionary as a compendium aims to provide “a node in a network of historical dictionaries, electronic editions, text portals, and other linguistic resources”   Yet the possibility that under “linguistic resources” the Dictionary as a dynamic compendium would link together with Middle English parsed texts compels scrutiny. What adjustments, for example, would suitably tie the Dictionary to the Penn Parsed Corpora of Historical English and the newly Parsed Linguistic Atlas of Early Middle English?  Currently the Dictionary’s terms of usage, such as agent, agency of, auxiliary, passive voice, p. ppl., provide guidance on the deployment of words – bẹ̄n, worthen, of, and thurgh among them. To suppose, however, a wide extension of these terms, in a manner compatible with the parsed texts now available, transforms the Dictionary’s ambitious undertaking into a barely conceivable enterprise.

Nonetheless, the Dictionary as a resource for grammatical analysis works under a set of assumptions on methodology.  First, a method that approaches it as a compendium to read closely offers benefits sooner than one viewing it as a resource containing more than 800, 000 quotations. If read closely, the Dictionary’s terms of usage reveal a considered practice designed to order coherently the extensive variety of Middle English forms during more than four centuries. The term auxiliary, found under such verbs as bẹ̄n, worthen, also shulen, introduces a full spate of forms from early to late Middle English.  On the other hand, close reading requires grasping a rationale for the absence of auxiliary under the headwords cǒnnen and mouen.  A like exercise applies to the occurrence of agent or agency of under only some prepositions.

A second aspect of methodology applies to the design of the analysis under consideration. Generally, the Dictionary is a valuable compendium for well circumscribed study. To suppose that it will readily and adequately supply discriminating quotations in the passive voice soon enough daunts even patient effort. But to limit initially the scope of study to the use of bẹ̄n and worthen as auxiliaries collocated with past participles by Laȝamon and Orm promises worthwhile findings. And such findings are likely to generate further questions, their scope also constrained, that make the Dictionary’s riches economically approachable.

 

Herbert Ernst Wiegand

08 January 1936 – 03 January 2018

During the last four decades Professor Herbert Ernst Wiegand, who passed away on 3 January 2018, has been one of the most prolific and influential scholars in the field of metalexicography and dictionary research. In the academic world he was respected and appreciated as leading researcher, scientific organiser, dedicated colleague and loyal friend. Herbert Ernst Wiegand was a versatile scholar who published in various fields of the broader domain of linguistics, especially theory of language, lexical semantics and text linguistics, as well as Germanic studies. However, his main contribution has been in the establishment of lexicography as an independent discipline.

In 1972 Wiegand was appointed as professor for theoretical linguistics at the Philipps University of Marburg. This was followed by a period at the University of Düsseldorf before taking up a position at the Ruprecht-Karls University of Heidelberg where he was Professor Ordinarius from 1977 until his retirement in 2004.

His 487 publications, published during the period 1967-2017, include his magnum opus Wörterbuchforschung (1998), and numerous articles focusing on a wide variety of topics from the field of lexicography. The dominant focus in this extensive publication list (approximately 20 000 printed pages) is on dictionary structures. He identified, analysed and discussed a comprehensive selection of dictionary structures in minute details. With this contribution he elevated the lexicographic discussion and established it as an acknowledged scientific domain. In his four-volume Internationale Bibliographie zur germanistischen Lexikographie und Wörterbuchforschung he provided the most significant bibliography of lexicography. Although this bibliography primarily provides German references it also includes references from English and the Nordic and Romance languages.

Besides his own publications Wiegand made a huge contribution as editor and co-editor of a number of scientific journals and book series. He was co-editor of the Zeitschrift für germanistische Linguistik, Lexicographica: International Annual for Lexicography/Revue Internationale de Lexicographie/Internationales Jahrbuch für Lexicographie, the book series Reihe Germanistische Linguistik, the Wörterbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft and Lexicographica Series Maior. In 1982 he realised the need for a comprehensive series of textbooks covering all subfields of the broad discipline of linguistics. Consequently he co-founded the series Handbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft, and was co-editor and editor of this series of text books that reflect the state-of-the-art of linguistics and communication science. In the 2013 volume Dictionaries, An International Encyclopedia of Lexicography, Supplementary Volume: Recent Developments with Focus on Electronic and Computational Lexicography Wiegand gave a new discussion of a number of dictionary structures introduced in earlier publications. Although he explicitly stated that his discussion focused on structures of printed dictionaries the transfer from printed to online dictionaries has already benefitted substantially from these structures because with minor adaptions many of them can be employed in the planning and compilation of online dictionaries.

Wiegand was one of the participants of the LEX’eter conference (1983) which preceded the founding of EURALEX. His paper at this conference “On the Structure and Contents of a General Theory of Lexicography” was published in the first volume of the series Lexicographica Series Maior.  His involvement in establishing this series and his participation in the founding of EURALEX signalled his future role as academic organiser. He initiated a number of scientific colloquia, workshops and conferences, e.g. the International Copenhagen Colloquium, the Heidelberg Lexicographic Colloquium as well as the Colloquium on Lexicography and Dictionary Research, bi-annually hosted in Eastern Europe.

One of Wiegand’s last major endeavours was his participation as leading editor of the Wörterbuch zur Lexikographie und Wörterbuchforschung/Dictionary of Lexicography and Dictionary Research. The first volume of this four-volume project was published in 2010 and the second volume in 2017. An important aim of this publication, in which German lexicographic terms are coordinated with equivalents in Afrikaans, Bulgarian, English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian, is the standardisation of lexicographic terminology. Wiegand dedicated a lot of time, effort and intellectual innovation to this project that kept him involved up to the very last days of his life. During our last telephone conversation, four days before his death, he discussed the future of this project with me and gave some instructions regarding the continuation of the work and what has to be done.

HEW, the initials can also be read as High Energy Wanderer, received well deserved recognition for his work, including honorary doctorates from the Aarhus School of Business, the University of Sofia and Stellenbosch University. The main recognition, however, will be the continued influence of his comprehensive legacy.

With the death of Herbert Ernst Wiegand the metalexicographic discipline has lost a vital, prolific, innovative and academically balanced role player. He will be missed but his memories and his work will live on.

 

Rufus H Gouws
Stellenbosch University
South Africa
rhg@sun.ac.za

CONFERENCES SPRING 2018

DSNA 22 at Indiana University

May 8–11, 2019

DSNA returns to Bloomington, Indiana, and the campus of Indiana University for its 22nd Biennial Meeting, May 8–11, 2019, and so does Studies in the History of the English Language (SHEL), with which DSNA 20 collaborated in Vancouver in 2015.

A separate Call for Papers will be sent to DSNA members late in the summer but abstracts for regular sessions (20-minute papers) should be sent to adamsmp@indiana.edu by October 31, 2018. Participants will be notified of acceptance and a preliminary program posted on the yet-to-be-constructed conference site by the December holidays. We should have the site up and running in mid-summer and will advertise its URL in the summer Call for Papers.

The conference will convene with a reception (perhaps after an opening session) on Wednesday evening, May 8. Concurrent sessions for DSNA and SHEL will be scheduled throughout Thursday, Friday, and Saturday morning, with SHEL and DSNA business meetings schedule on Saturday after lunch.

The conference will include several special features and events. For instance, the Lilly Library plans to mount an exhibit of dictionary and English language materials and will host a reception for us in the library to open the exhibit. I’m currently working with curators to prepare newly acquired collections of special interest to DSNA — that’s all I’ll say now, just enough to pique your interest. In Barbados, Jason Siegel introduced “The Five-Minute Lexicographer” into the program of DSNA 21, and we plan to continue what after Bloomington will be a tradition. And to help celebrate Indiana University’s Bicentennial, we’ll dwell some, in various ways, on the university’s place in the history and current practice of lexicography. It’s likely that anyone interested can make a pre-conference excursion to the Cordell Collection at nearby Indiana State University on Wednesday.

Also, I hope to arrange a few pre-conference seminars: 8–12 participants with pre-circulated papers and a plan for dissemination of the proceedings (special issue of a journal, book publication, etc.). DSNA 17 in Bloomington included just one such seminar, organized by Ilan Kernerman and Paul Bogaards, the proceedings of which were published as English Learners’ Dictionaries at the DSNA 2009, by KDictionaries, edited by the organizers. If you would like to propose a specially-themed seminar, please let me know at the e-mail address above. I hope we’ll have three or four, this time around. The seminars would require Tuesday arrival and would take place all day Wednesday. Seminarians, especially, will appreciate the opening reception.

Bloomington in May is warm and dry. The city (with a population of roughly 85,000) is easy to navigate and walkable, and for the most part wheelchair accessible. Once most students have left for the summer, it’s relatively quiet and all amenities are available to visitors — excellent restaurants and bars, other evening entertainment (a comedy club, for instance), museums, cafés, etc. Participants are welcome to make their own arrangements, but a block of rooms will be reserved in the Biddle Hotel — inside the Indiana Memorial Union, where regular sessions and nearly all conference events will be held. Rooms will also be available in a student residence hall, just ten minutes away from the Union, for those who need to minimize expense. We will provide a walk-by or stand/sit-and-mingle breakfast in some Union space before each morning’s first session.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions and rest assured that we will welcome you warmly when you arrive in Bloomington and provide the best conference possible.

  • Michael Adams

 

Other conferences, information assembled by Lise Winer:

Nineteenth-Century Lexicography Conference: “Between Science and Fiction.” Stanford University, California, USA, April 6-7, 2018.  For information:  Sarah Ogilvie (sogilvie@stanford.edu) or Gabriella Safran (gsafran@stanford.edu).

Asialex2018: “Lexicography in the digital world.” Krabi, Thailand, June 8-10, 2018. http://asialex.org/  Abstract submission deadline March 1, 2018.

18th EURALEX International Congress, Ljubljana, Slovenia, July 17-21, 2018. http://euralex2018.cjvt.si/

9th International Conference on Historical Lexicology and Lexicography, Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy, June 20-22, 2018. http://www.ichll9.wordpress.com/

10th Celtic Linguistics Conference, Maynooth University, Ireland. Sept. 4-5, 2018. Contact Elliott Lash, celticlinguisticsconference10@gmail.com.

DSNA NEWS SPRING 2018

There is much to report here. We hear from Steve Kleinedler, President of the Society, Kory Stamper, Executive Secretary, Ed Finegan, editor of our journal,  Michael Hancher, who is in charge of our social media presence, Rebecca Shapiro, who reports on MetroLex, and Cinda May, who describes the application for a Warren N. Cordell Research Fellowship. We also present the DSNA Professional Standards and Code of Conduct.

Steve Kleinedler:

In my capacity as DSNA President, and on behalf of the Executive Board, I would like to thank and acknowledge members for their work with the Society.

Our journal Dictionaries has a lot to celebrate and a lot of people to thank and acknowledge. Under the guidance and direction of Ed Finegan (editor), along with the work of Traci Nagle (reviews editor), Sarah Ogilve and Orion Montoya (associate editors), the entire Editorial Advisory Board, and the Publications Committee led by Wendi Nichols, we not only have a handsome new design, but also a semiannual publication schedule. (Thanks and acknowledgement also goes to Wendi for her service in her tenure as reviews editor.)

Additionally, the process which was undertaken to have Dictionaries indexed by SCOPUS was extremely long and arduous: the driving force of Michael Adams along with Ed Finegan, Luanne von Schneidemesser, and Rebecca Shapiro for keeping track of and executing all of the necessary requirements that made this happen. (Thanks and acknowledgment also goes to Luanne for her service in her tenure as president, and to Rebecca for her service in her tenure as executive secretary.) The semiannual publication schedule and the indexing by SCOPUS are both crucial items for increasing journal revenue.

By the time this newsletter comes out, the completely overhauled website will mostly likely have been unveiled. For that, we have David Jost and the Publications Committee to thank for shepherding that process along. In her role as executive secretary, Kory Stamper has streamlined the membership database, which, on the new website, will allow members the opportunity to track their membership and edit their membership profiles quickly and easily. Kory has also set up accounts to automatically renew, again increasing Society revenue without requiring someone’s time to track down people each year. Thank you also to David Jost and Peter Chipman for their role in producing the newsletter.

For service on the current Board, thanks go to Lise Winer, Stefan Dollinger, Sarah Ogilve, and Peter Gilliver, as well as Brianne Hughes in her role as associate executive secretary. Special thanks goes to vice president/president-elect Elizabeth Knowles for both agreeing to take on the position as well as to provide me with incredibly helpful and incisive feedback; I am very grateful for her wisdom. Kory Stamper deserves a second round of thanks for her management of a vast array of Board minutiae. (Thanks and acknowledgment also goes to Peter Sokolowski and Ammon Shea for their past service on the Board and to Rebecca Shapiro for her service in her tenure as executive secretary. Luanne von Schneidemesser remains on the Board for one more term, but I’d like to thank her for her tenure as president and her guidance in preparing me for this role.)

Thank you to Michael Hancher and Orin Hargraves for administrating the Society’s social media.

Lastly, a proactive thank-you to Michael Adams for the work he will soon be undertaking with regard to the biennial conference in Bloomington in 2019, which will be held in conjunction with SHEL.

It is my hope that you all continue to benefit from your membership in the Society, and I look forward to reading your articles in future issues and seeing you in person at future conferences.

___________________________________________________________________________

Kory Stamper:

The work of the Executive Secretary is entirely behind the scenes, so much of what I’ve done in these first months of my term is (and should be) invisible to members of the Society—though you have no doubt already noticed a few changes to how we’ve traditionally done things.

In October, your Board voted to accept a Professional Standards and Code of Conduct for the DSNA (you can find it in this Newsletter). Such statements are increasingly commonplace among academic societies, and we’re starting to see vendors and conference sponsors require societies to have a Standards Document in place before they will do business with that society. We’re grateful for the help of our sister societies in the American Council of Learned Societies for their help in drafting this.

In July, the DSNA transitioned to an online membership management system used and recommended by many nonprofits and academic societies (WildApricot). The advantages of this new system are tremendous for both the Society and its members: it gives each member a login with which they can change their own contact information, update their academic interests, and easily renew their membership; it fully automates the renewal and membership application process, and even allows for DSNA members to set up an auto-renewal option through PayPal; and it makes communicating with our membership much, much simpler. It’s not without its quirks, but I’m grateful that the transition has been so seamless, and that each of you who have encountered the new system have taken to it with grace and good humor.

In the event that you haven’t yet logged in to the system, please do. One of the exciting things that this software offers is the ability to build a members-only section of our website, and your login to the membership system will be your login to the members-only section of the site, where we’ll no doubt have some form of the long-awaited membership directory, as well as members-only announcements and registrations (such as for DSNA21). If you don’t know what your login is, please email me at DSNAadmin@gmail.com, and I will get you set up.

My other primary duty is handling the DSNA finances. Last year was a transition year for the DSNA: our Publications Committee commissioned the creation of a new DSNA website to bring us out of the Geocities era, and our journal became a semiannual publication instead of an annual publication. Both of these very necessary moves required one-time costs for the website and new regular expenses with regard to the journal—with no immediate financial return in the same calendar year. We still had a budget surplus in 2017, but it was relatively small. Fortunately, your Board has taken steps to limit costs while increasing our revenue. Thanks to the increased frequency of publication as well as new indexing for the journal, we expect to see an increase in our revenue through Project MUSE and DeepDyve in the coming years, and we have increased the cost of Institutional memberships slightly to help offset the increased costs of publication. We also eliminated the paid Secretary Assistant position in July, and have been working to reduce mailing and printing costs by tightening up our journals claims procedure.

We are on a good financial footing for such a small society. There are still a few things you can do to help:

  • Bring in new members! There’s not just a financial benefit for the Society, but the benefit of bringing in new voices, research, and growth to our field.
  • If you have access to Project MUSE through an institution that you’re affiliated with, such as a school or library, access Dictionaries through your institution and not your DSNA membership. DSNA does not receive income from member logins, but we do receive income from institutional downloads.
  • Set your contact preferences for electronic communication! Printing and postage costs can be surprisingly large for a society of our size. We’re grateful for all the members who have already opted in to the electronic newsletter and electronic communications.

Thanks for your continued support of the DSNA!

________________________________________________________________________________________________

Ed Finegan, Editor of our journal:

News about Dictionaries

Dictionaries 38.2 was published in December and is available through Project MUSE. The issue contains two articles, “Dating Phonological Change on the Basis of Eighteenth-Century British English Dictionaries and Orthoepic Treatises” by Nicolas Trapateau and “Specialized Subject-Matter Labels: Exodistinctive versus Endoprofiling” by Danko Šipka, as well as two Reference Works in Progress pieces, Lynda Mugglestone’s “Words in War-Time Project” and David-Antoine Williams’s “Getting More Out of the Oxford English Dictionary (by Putting More In).” The issue also contains Antonette diPaolo Healey’s review of The Oxford Handbook of Lexicography, edited by Philip Durkin; Edward Finegan’s review of Garner’s Modern English Usage by Bryan A. Garner; Enid Pearsons’s review of The Word Detective: Searching for the Meaning of It All at the Oxford English Dictionary—A Memoir by John Simpson; and Sungok Hong’s review of Negotiating Languages: Urdu, Hindi, and the Definition of Modern South Asia by Walter Hakala.

Lay Lexicography in Dictionaries

Dictionaries is aiming to publish a forum on modern lay lexicography in a forthcoming issue. The scope of the topic remains flexible but could include treatments of collaboratively edited and crowd-sourced dictionaries; dictionaries of previously undocumented languages created by missionaries and others with little or no lexicographical training; popular booklets published to tout local varieties of languages and guides to local flora, fauna, and other features; and lay definitions in advertising and branding contexts. Keep an eye peeled for a proper call for papers in due course. Meanwhile, inquiries and suggestions about possible contributions from DSNA members and others interested in the topic can be sent to the journal’s editor: Finegan@USC.edu.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

The nominating committee is now full: Michael Hancher (thru  conference 2019), Connie Eble (thru conference 2019), Katy Isaacs (through conference 2021), and Sarah Ogilve (through conference 2021)

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Michael Hancher:

Until recently the MLA had an established Discussion Group for Lexicography. It was not always very active — I remember attending one MLA Lexicography session where none of the organizers or panelists showed up. Fortunately a half dozen audience members did show up (including the president of Merriam-Webster), who spent an enjoyable hour sharing their thoughts about lexicography. In later years Lisa Berglund and I managed to revive the Lex. discussion group, and we hosted some good sessions devoted to dictionaries. But then the MLA embarked on a complete redesign of its convention structure, and was about to subsume Lexicography into a new Theory and Method (TM) division called Book History and Print Culture — an objectionable move that Lisa and I objected to (traces survive at https://mla.hcommons.org/?s=lexicography), not entirely without effect. In the end the MLA agreed to keep the banner of Lexicography flying in the revised TM title: Book History, Print Cultures, Lexicography. Rebecca Shapiro was recently elected to a five-year term on the executive committee of that forum (https://www.mla.org/About-Us/Governance/Elections/Results-of-the-2017-MLA-Elections). I expect that she will sustain lexicography in future MLA conferences. This forum has an MLA Commons web site, with 275 subscribers, at https://mla.hcommons.org/groups/book-history-print-cultures-lexicography/ — which is probably the URL that we should link to. The most recent posting there is the CFP for the next convention, on a broad topic at least potentially lexicographic: Cut, Copy, Paste, Track. How do we study the expansion, contraction, and development of material texts and corpora? Papers sought that explore erasure, cancellation, deletion, supplementation, and textual change.

As of 2/3/2018

____________________________________________________________________________________

Rebecca Shapiro:

The most recent installment of MetroLex, our periodic panel of talks and workshops on lexicography in NYC, was on Friday, September 29, 2017 at our now-regular location, Columbia University. We have been lucky to have found a home, with our genial host John McWhorter and his lively students, who faithfully come and share their knowledge, experiences, and interests at these events. Last fall, for example, we heard about how digitization can make an enormous difference in how information is pulled together and organized in the service of etymology and charting changes in meaning, by Angus Grieve-Smith of Columbia University and John Morse of Merriam-Webster.

Angus’s discussion was called “The Challenge of Representativeness in the 1971 Trésor de la Langue Française Dictionary” and dealt with his online project about the etymology used in nineteenth-century French theater: Digital Parisian Stage Corpus. What was fascinating was that a specific resource traced language change and could explain how small differences in one field of literature and the spoken word trace linguistic change in a broad manner. What also was interesting about the talk was that theater during that time was particularly known for its layered meanings, so it is quite a rich resource for semantic variations.

The second presentation, while different in topic, was similar in that it showed how technology in lexicographical research augments actual pairs of eyes. John’s talk was titled “The Metadata of an Offline Document: A Guided Tour through a Dictionary’s Work Galleys.” As with Angus’s talk, we were shown numerous slides—this time of galleys that had been worked on and adapted as a result of re-viewing and re-vising existing information. We saw clearly how changes were made in dictionaries based on hands-on research and work that combined old-school methods with new technologies.

After the talks concluded, the audience engaged in spirited discussion that reflected the pleasing nature of the topics as well as how well they combined audience interests in history, semantic and lexical change, and lexicography in unusual, granular ways. It is clear that there is no shortage of fascinating topics related to dictionaries and lexicographical matters that remind us that new technologies cannot replace older, more established ways of creating corpora. The robots still work for us.

This time, the presentations were made merrier by light refreshments provided by Oxford University Press. Previous talks have been refreshed by Cambridge University Press and American Heritage.

Our next presentations will be in April. Lynne Murphy will give us a clever, fun, and serious reminder that English is not just one language. Lynne Murphy was an inaugural National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar in 2016, and the resulting book, The Prodigal Tongue: the love-hate relationship between American and British English, is to be published by Penguin USA on 10 April. The book explores every facet of the British-American linguistic special relationship, including the differences in the role of dictionaries and language-reference publishing in the two countries. Here is a capsule review for Lynne’s book: https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-14-313110-6

We are also in tentative talks to hear Simon Tam of the musical group The Slants on winning their Supreme Court case and how they were able to name themselves something considered offensive by the U. S. Government. See a discussion here about disparagement and the First Amendment: http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/lee-v-tam/.

If anyone in the NY Metro area would like to help with the planning of the Slants talk—as we think it might be a large draw—please contact Rebecca Shapiro at rshapiro@citytech.cuny.edu or Ben Zimmer at bgzimmer@gmail.com.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Cinda May of the Special Collections Department at Indiana State has sent us this request for applications:

The Warren N. Cordell Research Fellowship is awarded each year to support scholarly research in the holdings of the Cordell Collection of Dictionaries in the fields of lexicography, lexicology, the history of English and other languages, or related areas. An award of $2,000.00 will be made to the selected fellow after completion of research in the collection. Applicants must submit a letter of inquiry, a selective vita, a written proposal describing the research project, and a detailed travel budget. Applications are accepted at any time during the calendar year. The letter of inquiry should include the desired starting and concluding dates of the residency. The proposal should indicate the materials or range of materials within the Cordell Collection that will be consulted. Send proposals to: Cinda A. May, Chairperson; Special Collections Department; Cunningham Memorial Library; 510 North 6 ½ Street; Terre Haute, IN 47809; or via email at Cinda.May@indstate.edu.

DSNA members have benefited from this fellowship over the years. See the article by David Vancil in the Fall 2016 Newsletter.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

We include here a new document that has been promulgated by the Executive Board:

DSNA Professional Standards and Code of Conduct

Drafted August 1, 2017

Second Draft: September 26, 2017

Adopted by DSNA Executive Board: October 18, 2017

 

Professional Conduct and Collegiality

Freedom of expression and vigorous debate are crucial to scholarly exchange. DSNA strives to uphold these principles at all times, while strongly valuing mutual respect and providing an environment for exchange free of intimidation. We expect speakers and questioners at our meetings to demonstrate civility at all times, even in the midst of disagreement.

As a Society, we recognize that lexicography and lexicology are disciplines that have a complex, sometimes exclusionary, history. We welcome new scholarship that challenges our presuppositions regarding our field, while also upholding a commitment to excellence in scholarship and research, and integrity in our work. The Society’s membership exhibits substantial diversity in terms of profession, expertise, and interest. We encourage the input of all our members, regardless of formal qualification and experience, as we together advance the scholarly and public understanding of lexicography and lexicology.

Nondiscrimination and AntiHarassment Standards

The DSNA is dedicated to providing a safe, hospitable, and productive environment for everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, disability, physical appearance, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or employment status. Accordingly, the Society deplores all harassment and is sensitive to the harm suffered by persons who experience it. We expect those participating in DSNA meetings and events to treat others with the utmost respect, and not to engage in behavior that is intimidating, threatening, or harassing. This expectation applies to all involved, including but not limited to our speakers, staff, volunteers, attendees and guests.

The DSNA prohibits harassment on any grounds, including race, ethnicity, religion, disability, physical appearance, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or employment status. Harassment constitutes physical or verbal behavior that is not welcome by a member and/or that is personally intimidating, hostile, offensive, coercive or threatening. It may include such actions as: (1) verbal abuse; (2) degrading comments; (3) the display of offensive objects or images outside of a scholarly context (e.g., a presentation on the treatment of profanity in a dictionary would not be considered offensive whereas the use of profanity directed at a fellow member would be); (4) conduct or comments of a lewd or lascivious nature; and (5) other conduct that the targeted individual (or group of individuals) might reasonably find to be intimidating, hostile, offensive, coercive, or threatening.

Reporting Mechanism

Harassment and unprofessional conduct, in any form, prevent us from carrying out our mandate of fostering a spirit of collegiality and support. Such conduct may jeopardize a member’s participation in DSNA events or their membership. If an individual believes that she or he has experienced harassment as outlined above at the Society’s meetings or events, the individual is requested to report it immediately to a member of the Executive Board and/or the President of the Society.

MEMBER NEWS SPRING 2018

In this edition of Member News we hear from Orin Hargraves, Steve Kleinedler, Tim Stewart, and Walter Hakala.

Orin Hargraves reports that the newly published Routledge Handbook of Lexicography includes three chapters by current DSNA members (Stefan Dollinger, Erin McKean, and Orin himself) and that some past members are also among the contributors (including the volume’s editor!). For more information, visit https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-Handbook-of-Lexicography/Fuertes-Olivera/p/book/9781138941601.

Steve Kleinedler announces the publication of his textbook Is English Changing? in late March. Steve’s book is the newest title in the Routledge Guides to Linguistics series, which is being produced as part of the Linguistic Society of America’s publishing partnership with Routledge. The book is geared toward undergraduates who have no previous background in linguistics, providing an accessible, easy-to-understand overview of the major branches of linguistic study in the hopes of engaging the reader to take a greater interest in language and linguistics. For more information, please visit https://www.routledge.com/Is-English-Changing/Kleinedler/p/book/9781138234666.

Tim Stewart was recently interviewed for the PRI public radio program The World in Words in regard to his research about “Christianese” (the religiolect of North American protestant Christians). The episode aired a couple of months ago. He says, “I think the producers did a great job of rounding up several interesting speakers and perspectives.” A link to the audio can be found at https://www.pri.org/stories/2017-03-28/what-total-god-shot-understand-then-you-speak-christianese.

Walter Hakala reports, “My book on the history of Urdu dictionaries, Negotiating Languages: Urdu, Hindi, and the Definition of Modern South Asia (Columbia University Press, 2016; Primus Books, 2017) has been awarded Honorable Mention in the Association for Asian Studies South Asia Council’s Bernard S. Cohn Book Prize, 2018. It received in 2015 the Edward Cameron Dimock, Jr. Prize in the Indian Humanities from the American Institute of Indian Studies. It has been reviewed in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Journal of Asian Studies, The Book Review India, our own Dictionaries, and Harf: A Journal of South Asian Studies.

Request for Member News

Got news? Please send it either in the first or third person as you prefer for the next issue of the DSNA Newsletter to Peter Chipman at dsna.membernews@gmail.com.

INTRODUCTION SPRING 2018

A grateful editor thanks all who have contributed to this issue and looks forward to the future contributions of these and many more of you. This Newsletter reflects all that you are doing in the service of words and dictionaries. In this issue of the Newsletter, in addition to the usual features, you will find the first of what we hope will be a series of pieces on the state of lexicography. Orin Hargraves begins it with “The 21st Century Lexicographer.” Cynthia Barnhart contributes an addition to our historical knowledge with an article about the dictionary for the United States Army that  Clarence Barnhart compiled during World War II.  David Vancil draws on his vast experience to tell us about “Booksellers, Collectors, and Librarians: Building a Special Collection.” We also get a glimpse of the farewell to DARE accompanied by many photographs. And finally Orion Montoya sings to us.