The DSNA Newsletter is usually published twice a year, in the spring and fall. The editor is David Jost. Associate Editor is Peter Chipman. Member news items can be sent to Other Newsletter correspondence, such as articles for publication, should be directed to the editor at

Send correspondence re membership, etc. to

Kory Stamper, Executive Secretary, DSNA
PO Box 537
Collingswood, NJ 08108-0537

This issue:  Vol. 43 No. 2 (2019)

Cumulative issue #88


Rod McConchie writes to say that my piece of news is that my book on the history of English printed medical dictionaries, entitled Discovery in Haste: English Medical Dictionaries and Lexicographers 1547 to 1796, will be published by DeGruyter in the Lexicographica series maior in June this year. I believe that this will be the first-ever monograph on these dictionaries.”

DSNA Executive Board member Anne Curzan is now a dean at the University of Michigan. Below is an extract from the University press release and at the end appears the URL for the complete press release.

ANN ARBOR—Anne Curzan, associate dean for the humanities and a recognized expert in language and linguistics, has been appointed dean of the University of Michigan’s largest academic unit, the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Her appointment, approved Thursday by the Board of Regents, is effective Sept. 1 and runs through June 30, 2024.

Curzan is an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Geneva Smitherman Collegiate Professor of English Language and Literature, associate dean for humanities, professor of English language and literature, professor of linguistics and professor of education. Curzan has served as the associate dean for the humanities in LSA since 2015, working with 20 humanities chairs and directors, and supporting the new Digital Studies Institute and the LSA Opportunity Hub.

“I am excited and truly honored to have this opportunity to lead LSA as we continue to model what a world-class liberal arts college can achieve in research and education,” Curzan said. “I feel a deep loyalty to LSA and the University of Michigan, which is my Ph.D. alma mater and has been my faculty home for the past 17 years. I am surrounded by remarkable faculty colleagues, staff and students. As dean, I will work hard to ensure that each individual is valued for the perspectives and identities they bring and can thrive as they pursue meaningful work and lives.

In addition to being an experienced administrator and teacher, Curzan is a published author of books on language, including “How English Works: A Linguistic Introduction” and “Fixing English: Prescriptivism and Language History,” as well as on teaching, including “First Day to Final Grade: A Graduate Student’s Guide to Teaching.” She also created three audio-video courses for The Great Courses, including English Grammar Boot Camp. Curzan’s public engagement includes her position as a co-host of “That’s What They Say” on Michigan Public Radio, and as a biweekly blogger for six years for Lingua Franca, The Chronicle of Higher Education. Curzan is a frequent keynote speaker at conferences and workshops throughout the country, and has received multiple awards. She received the Henry Russell Award in 2007, the Faculty Recognition Award in 2009, the 2012 John Dewey Award and the Linguistic Society of America’s Linguistics, Language, and the Public Award in 2016.

Curzan taught at the University of Washington in Seattle for four years before returning to U-M in 2002 as an assistant professor in the Department of English Language and Literature. She rose through the ranks to full professor in 2012. She served as director of the English Department Writing Program from 2004 to 2012, which employs more than 120 instructors and teaches more than 6,000 students per year. She also served as the Department of English Language and Literature’s director of undergraduate studies from 2004 to 2007, and later as a co-director of the Joint Ph.D. Program in English and Education from 2010 to 2015. She received a Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and honors in linguistics from Yale University. She also earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. in English language and literature from U-M.



Connie Eble

            The DSNA records with great sadness and affection the death at age 69 of long-time member and gifted lexicographer Michael Montgomery, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the University of South Carolina.  Through his prodigious memory, relentless research, and ability to work with others, Montgomery produced for more than four decades a constant stream of letters and email messages to colleagues; professional presentations at conferences; thoughtful and helpful critiques of manuscripts, grant applications, and journal submissions; and articles, chapters, essays, edited volumes, books, and a dictionary.  His expertise was both wide and deep; with an astounding knowledge of American history he situated linguistic facts within their social, political, economic, geographic, and cultural contexts.  He was a respected and valued scholar of the history of American English, language practices of the American South, African American English, Appalachian dialects and culture, Ulster Scots, and the contributions of the Scots-Irish to American English.  Moreover, he affected the lives of many by his kindness, generosity, guidance, and his heartfelt desire and deeds for their success and happiness.

            Several of Montgomery’s publications are reference works that have enduring usefulness. With Guy Bailey, Michael Montgomery conceived of and hosted the first LAVIS conference (there have been three every ten years since then), producing a foundational work for the study of African American dialects, Language Variety in the South: Black and White (1985). In 1989 he updated and enlarged James McMillan’s earlier volume as Annotated Bibliography of Southern American English. With Ellen Johnson, he contributed the separate volume on language to the second edition of The Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (2007). His Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English in 2007 preserved and greatly augmented the pioneering work of Joseph S. Hall in a dictionary consistent with the highest standards of contemporary lexicography.  From Ulster to America: the Scotch-Irish Heritage of American English (2006) documented the immigrant group particularly important to language variation in Appalachia and the South .

             Physical limitations from an early age grew increasingly severe and in his final years confined Montgomery to a wheelchair and made him almost completely blind and deaf.  He persisted with courage and grace, still smiling when he recognized a friend and enjoying hearing or telling a good joke or the latest gossip.  Throughout his career, Montgomery thrived on both the social and intellectual interactions of professional gatherings, and he participated actively in several organizations, serving, for example, as president of the American Dialect Society and the Southeastern Conference on Linguistics. He continued to attend meetings even when that entailed pain and great expense and when he could no longer see or hear the official presentations on the program.  The pleasure of being with old friends and former students and meeting the newest generation of graduate students outweighed the difficulties for him.

            For the past few years, he has focused on completing A Dictionary of Smoky Mountain and Southern Appalachian English, with co-editor Jennifer Heinmiller.  It is extremely close to being finished.  DSNA members can honor Michael Montgomery by helping financially with the publication of this valuable work of lexicography.  Gifts can be made to the Estate of Michael Montgomery (with “Publication of the Dictionary of Southern Appalachian English” on the memo line) and sent c/o David Montgomery, 298 Walker Road, Jellico, TN 37762.


Michael Adams had official photographs taken of the DSNA 22 by Bernard Antoine Clark Jr. Photographs were also taken by Luanne von Schneidemesser, David Vancil, and Traci Nagle (of the Cordell visit). The links below take you to these photos. We are grateful to these photographers for giving us a view of DSNA22.

Michael Adams’s photographs

Luanne von Scheidemesser’s photographs

David Vancil’s photographs

Traci Nagle’s photographs


Cordell Collection Visit

On the first day of the 22nd biennial DSNA meeting, a group of attendees took a chartered bus to Terre Haute for a special viewing of dictionaries held by the Cordell Collection of Dictionaries at the Indiana State University Library ( Displayed across two rooms of the Rare Books and Manuscripts unit for us to examine were items selected from the many gems in this collection by Cinda May, the library’s Chair of Special Collections. In one room was a tableful of  “favorites” including the recently acquired De orthographia dictionum e Graecis tractarum (1471), the oldest item in the Cordell Collection thus far (; tiny items from the perennially popular miniature dictionary collection; and several unpublished works, including a “Nautical Word List” compiled by Laurence Urdang in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and a manuscript in the form of note cards written by Mitford Mathews which spurred some eager researchers in our party to try to determine the project for which Mathews created these notes (their conclusion escapes my memory but is different from the work under which the Cordell Collection had classified them).

In a second room Cinda and her staff had collected sixteen works directly relevant to presentations on the DSNA 22 program, such as Johnathan Barber’s 1830 A grammar of elocution, selected to complement Anatoly Liberman’s presentation on “The uses of historical phonology”; 1755 and 1773 editions of Samuel Johnson’s A dictionary of the English language, selected to complement Beth Young’s talk about her project creating an enhanced online version of Johnson’s dictionary;  and to pique interest in Alexander Bocast’s talk on the “Evolution of the dictionaries of John Entick and William Perry” the library displayed for us a 1770 edition of Entick’s spelling dictionary and a 1778 edition of Perry’s Royal Standard English Dictionary.

Our bus trip was generously funded by the Indiana State University Library. For researchers interested in working with items in the Cordell Collection, the staff of the collection reminded us of the Warren Cordell Research Fellowship, which can be awarded to support expenses involved in traveling to and staying in Terre Haute. For more information, see

Traci Nagle

The Barnhart Dictionary Archive

Cynthia Barnhart donated The Barnhart Dictionary Archive to the Lilly Library in 2016, some sixty drawers and 100 three-ring binders of it, 35 cartons of books, and four million citation slips employed in the making of various dictionaries by various Barnharts, the whole of it weighing in at nine tons. That’s a lot of archive. It will take a while for the library to process it. But once it’s available, the archive will transform our understanding of dictionary-making — lexicography — and publishing in 20th-century America.

The Barnharts were America’s “first family” of lexicographers. Clarence L. Barnhart (1900–1993) developed the influential and successful Thorndike-Barnhart series of school dictionaries (beginning in 1935 and appearing in editions as late as 1997), conceived and edited the American College Dictionary (1947), and led the editorial team behind the World Book Dictionary (published in 20 editions, 1964–1994). In his obituary of Barnhart, published in Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America (1994), Allen Walker Read insisted, “The death of Clarence Barnhart has taken away America’s pre-eminent lexicographer. This is so generally acknowledged that I need not dwell on it.”

But the acclaim and the life that led to it came about somewhat by accident. The ‘20s weren’t roaring for Barnhart, a Missouri native who was collecting debts in Kansas, when a friend persuaded him to leave not that much behind and start over in Chicago. He took a job with the publishing firm Scott, Foresman & Co., in the shipping room, and enrolled at the University of Chicago, where he earned a B.A. and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

At Scott, Foresman, Barnhart rose to editorial file clerk and handled correspondence with Edward Thorndike (1874–1949), an eminent developmental psychologist at Columbia University who was preparing school dictionaries based on word frequency, with an innovative approach to defining. Meanwhile, he took graduate courses at Chicago with the linguists Leonard Bloomfield and Edward Sapir and the lexicographers Sir William A. Craigie — one of the four principal editors of the Oxford English Dictionary — and James R. Hulbert, co-editors of the Dictionary of American English (four volumes, 1936–1944). Barnhart cut his lexicographical teeth in courses with Craigie and Hulbert and as an assistant on the DAE.

From that experience and a genius for dictionary-making, Barnhart launched a legendary lexicographical career at Scott, Foresman, on the Thorndike-Barnhart dictionaries. During the Second World War, he accepted an invitation from the War Office to lead editing of what became the Dictionary of United States Army Terms (1944). Although classified as “Restricted,” the dictionary is nonetheless held by a few dozen libraries around the world. It would be wonderful if — upon opening one of those cartons of books — the library discovered a copy of this rare dictionary inside.

Even while editing the Dictionary of United States Army Terms, Barnhart worked as an independent contractor. When the war was won, Bennett Cerf, who co-founded the New York publishing firm Random House, decided to publish a dictionary and engaged Barnhart to lead the project. The American College Dictionary was the result, later expanded by Jess Stein, who had worked with Barnhart on the Dictionary of United States Army Terms, into the massive and much respected Random House Dictionary of the English Language: The Unabridged Edition (1966). Under various corporations and company names, Barnhart maintained his independence for decades.

Clarence L. was a star, and his gravity drew both of his sons, Robert K. (1933–2007) and David K. (b. 1941), into the galaxy of lexicography. At first, they were his satellites and worked on his dictionary projects, but eventually their own gravities increased massively, they became stars in their own rights, and were released from orbit. With his father and Sol Steinmetz, Robert edited the three volumes of the The Barnhart Dictionary of New English (1973, 1980, and 1990); his most significant independent work was The Barnhart Dictionary of Etymology (1988). David and Clarence edited The Barnhart Dictionary Companion: A Quarterly of New Words (1982–2001) together until Clarence’s death. In 1980, David founded his publishing company, Lexik House, which has published several important works, including John A. Holm’s and Alison Watt Shilling’s Dictionary of Bahamian English (1982) and, most recently, his own Barnhart’s Never-Finished Political Dictionary of the 21st Century (2016). Cynthia was married to Robert and worked beside him on some of the Barnhart dictionaries, too, later editing The Facts on File Student’s Dictionary of American English (2008) on her own and contributing significantly to the Let’s Read series.

The Barnhart Dictionary Archive covers essentially anything one might want to know about individual Barnhart dictionaries or the Barnhart dictionary enterprise. The citation files and other sources of data represent the raw material from which the dictionaries were made. But the archive also includes questionnaire responses from editorial committee members and committee reports; correspondence with expert consultants; style sheets and procedures for determining and representing pronunciations; draft revisions and proofs — which provide a rare view into the way dictionary texts are built — including proofs of artwork; memoranda on the treatment of idioms; and much more. Looking up a word in a dictionary, one rarely pauses to consider all that went into making it, but the archive allows us to trace the genesis and editorial execution of several Barnhart dictionary projects and how they realize lexicographical principles and practices into dictionary products.

The archive also preserves file upon file of correspondence with lexicographical luminaries, like Read, Stein, Steinmetz, Laurence Urdang, R. W. Burchfield — editor of the four-volume Supplement to the Oxford English Dictionary (1972–1986), Mitford M. Mathews — editor of the two-volume Dictionary of Americanisms (1951), Hans Kurath — editor of the Middle English Dictionary (1952–2001), C. T. Onions — another of the OED’s four editors, and Frederic G. Cassidy — original editor of the Dictionary of American Regional English (1985–2012), as well as historians of English, English dialects, and English usage, for instance, Kemp Malone and Louise Pound — two of the founding editors of the journal American Speech, Angus McIntosh — editor of the Linguistic Atlas of Late Medieval English (1986), Albert C. Baugh — author of what was then the leading history-of- English textbook,  Miles L. Hanley — associate editor of the Linguistic Atlas of New England (1939–1943), and yet more famous writers on language, for example, S. I. Hayakawa — author of Language in Thought and Action (1949), and later a United States Senator (1977–1983), William Safire, language columnist for the New York Times Magazine, and many, many more. The range of correspondents increases the value of the archive greatly, beyond its potential to improve our knowledge of lexicography generally or Barnhart dictionaries specifically, into a larger world of scholarship, ideas, and letters.

The Barnhart Dictionary Archive is especially important for its business records. On the editorial side, it includes project proposals and correspondence about them and about the subsequent conduct of the successful ones. Unless they are donated to a library in personal, family, or corporate archives, documents like these rarely see the light of day, but they often explain better than published dictionaries themselves what lexicographers thought they were up to in the dictionaries they made or — sometimes even more interesting — the ones they didn’t make.

The archive also includes paperwork related to copyrights and trademarks, accounts of employment interviews, contracts, and an extensive correspondence with publishers on all sorts of business matters, from marketing and advertising to costs and sales. Such records reveal the internal workings of the Barnhart enterprise but also capture facts about the publishers’ end of transactions, and the cooperation, collaboration, and conflict inherent in dictionary publishing. Such a view of publishers is difficult to achieve because their records are proprietary and well-guarded. The Barnhart Dictionary Archive allows us to see further into the world of commercial dictionary publishing than we usually can and indeed further into American publishing generally.

Who knows to what works of scholarship The Barnhart Dictionary Archive will lead? Biographies of Barnharts — singly or as a dictionary dynasty — editions of correspondence, footnotes in articles and books about publishing in the 20th century, detailed accounts of the various Barnhart dictionaries and their editors’ lexicographical techniques? Eventually, all of these and more. A trove of information as vast and specific as The Barnhart Dictionary Archive allows us to answer a lot of questions we already have about dictionaries and their makers, but also to ask questions we haven’t yet imagined and — without such an archive — never would.

  • Michael Adams
  • Note (DJ): Articles by Cynthia Barnhart have appeared in the History sections of the Fall 2017 (under Dictionary News in that case), Spring 2018 (Army Dictionary), and Spring 2019 DSNA Newsletters.



Lindsay Rose Russell

Upon publication of Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language in September 1961, staff of the G. & C. Merriam Company gathered for a celebration at Editor-in-Chief Philip Babcock Gove’s home. Philip and his wife Grace had cultivated the food for the feast on their very own farm, and Grace provided the evening’s entertainments, a musical puppet show with script, lyrics, and marionettes of her own making; their son Norwood recorded the musical accompaniment. Principal characters of the show were principal staff at Merriam-Webster: Philip, managing editor of Webster’s Third since 1951; Gordon J. Gallan, president and publisher of Merriam-Webster since 1953; Anne M. Driscoll, associate editor since 1953; and H. Bosley Woolf, associate editor since 1955. These four protagonists act out a fanciful history of Webster’s Third, inception to completion: Gove and Woolf convincing Gallan to remain faithful to Webster’s Second by not publishing an update, but Driscoll forcing the revision by defenestrating and burning all surviving editions of the Second. The quartet set to work concocting the third edition in “a huge sap bucket, center stage”: They throw in a heap of words (“Words words words. We love words words words!”), a dash of divine lineage (“We’re the direct descendants of Noah Webster, aren’t (ain’t ?) we?”), a generous helping of staff (“All hands round for definiendum!”), a steady stream of scrupulous accounting (“This is running into money!”), and a pinch of underestimated duration (“How long will it take you?” “Six weeks at least.”). The whole of the musical evidences Grace Gove’s insight into Merriam-Webster’s policies, practices, and office humor as well as her appreciation of the nuances of lexicographical labor, her enjoyment of popular misconceptions about dictionaries, and her skepticism of some lexicography’s claims to be an objective science.

On an evening in May 2019, attendees of the joint meeting of DSNA and SHEL gathered for a modest revival of “The Big Book” on the Frangipani stage of Indiana University’s Memorial Union. DSNA members Rachel Stone, Jason Siegel, Orion Montoya, and Orin Hargraves contributed their dramatic and musical talents; I provided a sense of the script’s history, veracity, and significance to today’s dictionary makers, scholars, and enthusiasts. Our performance was warmly received, with laughter and a standing ovation. It was an honor to bring an important piece of dictionary ephemera to life again in such good company.

Image courtesy of Sue Kay Lee.


Steven Kleinedler’s presidential address was recorded and can be played here.


For Connie Eble, recipient of the 2019 Richard W. Bailey Award for Distinguished Service to Lexicography and Lexicology, presented at the 22nd Biennial Meeting of the Dictionary Society of North America, Indiana University, May 10, 2019

Ben Zimmer

The Wall Street Journal

Photo: Luanne von Schneidemesser

On Dec. 4, 2018, Connie Eble sent out an email to a select group of word-watchers, many of whom are in this room this evening. “Dear Friends,” she wrote. “I have just taught my last class at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to complete fifty years of teaching at the university level. Attached is my final installment of campus slang from my undergraduate students. The 20,000 or so index cards submitted to me over the years will be deposited with University Archives as a permanent record of the slang and campus culture of Tar Heel undergraduates for forty years.”

I’m sure there must have been a collective sigh of despair when that email was opened by its recipients. Could this really be the last dispatch from Chapel Hill? Starting in the fall semester of 1972, just a year after joining the UNC faculty, Connie began soliciting examples of “good, current campus slang” from her undergraduate students. There had been sporadic attempts to compile American student slang going all the way back to 1895, when Willard Clark Gore drew on students in his rhetoric classes at the University of Michigan. But what Connie was able to accomplish with her students over the years is truly unparalleled. Her indispensable 1996 book Slang and Sociability was based on about 10,000 instances of slang collected over two decades, but by the time Connie sent out her final installment last year, her slang corpus had more than doubled.

Following the lead of Gary Underwood, who collected campus slang at the University of Arkansas from 1970 to 1972, Connie involved her students directly in the documentation of their own slang – essentially, training them to be junior lexicographers and field linguists. That makes the lists that Connie and her students generated particularly valuable, with a scholarly reliability that has only grown more crucial in the age of Urban Dictionary and other sketchy ventures in user-generated lexicography.

Speaking of “sketchy”… when Connie circulated her Spring 2010 slang list, I noticed a profusion of terms having to do with weird or suspicious outsiders, such as creeper, rando, and sketchball. Intrigued, I devoted a New York Times “On Language” column to the subject. Connie put me in touch with several of her female students, who explained the challenges of identifying “sketchy” individuals when dealing with unwanted attention from men in social situations. I was impressed by the nuanced sociolinguistic perspectives of her students. Connie had trained them to be not simply slang collectors but sophisticated observers of what slang signifies in their lived experiences.

The impact of Connie’s work on slang lexicography in general is truly profound. We can even quantify that impact. Green’s Dictionary of Slang by Jonathon Green has, at last count, a whopping 3,372 citations from the UNC lists – exceeding any other source. Even more impressively, 1,016 of those citations are the earliest recorded uses of lexical senses. And in the Oxford English Dictionary, the lists provide the first citations for such items as wuss, wuss out, chill (meaning “relaxed”), lose one’s shit, shit happens, sick (meaning “excellent”), freakazoid, nuke (meaning “to microwave”), walk of shame, tighty whities, talk to the hand, and of course talk to Ralph on the big white telephone (meaning “to vomit into a toilet”). During my editorship of “Among the New Words” for American Speech, I have come to appreciate just how invaluable Connie’s work has been for any lexicographical accounting of new and emerging American slang. While her incredible run at UNC has come to an end, her service to the field of lexicography will be fondly remembered as student slang continues to flourish in the 21st century. Thank you, Connie.

The Frederic G. Cassidy Award for Distinguished Achievement in Lexicography or Lexicology is presented to a longstanding member of the Society who has, throughout their career, significantly advanced lexicography or lexicology by major achievements as a lexicographer in research or practice at the highest scholarly or professional standards.

Wendi Nichols

Cambridge University Press

Photo: Ben Zimmer

It is not just an honor, but a true joy, to be asked to introduce my friend Enid Pearsons today as the 2019 recipient of the Frederic G. Cassidy Award for Distinguished Achievement in Lexicography or Lexicology.

In a career spanning nearly six decades, Enid has been something of a trade secret. Her first major credit was as the senior editor for pronunciation on the first edition of The Random House Dictionary of the English Language: The Unabridged Edition – a project that at one point had about four hundred people working on it. And she’s still, as she puts it, “an occasional kibbitzer” at – which, as most of you know, is where the data of the Unabridged now lives. She was a senior editor when she graciously welcomed 36-year-old me as her boss at Random House. It was only when we were all laid off a scant four years later that she announced to me: “Well, now I can tell you how old I am.”

Enid has been a senior member of teams led by such well-known figures as Jess Stein, Stuart Berg Flexner, and Laurence Urdang. And yet, she’s never received top billing. So now, I’d like to share with you what Enid should receive top billing for.

She got the job at Random House by telling Larry Urdang how she would improve the pronunciations in the American College Dictionary if she were in charge of them, then proceeded to do just that. This, at the publishing house that introduced the schwa to American dictionaries!

As a freelancer during her child-raising years, she wrote the pronunciation manual for the first edition of the American Heritage Dictionary. I suspect her scorn for the pronunciations in Webster’s Third might have landed her that gig. For Enid, there’s descriptivism, and then there’s sheer irresponsibility, and giving “uh-uh” as one of the pronunciations of no was proof that Merriam-Webster had lost its way – akin to giving “car” as a pronunciation for automobile.

By the second edition of the Random House Unabridged, Enid had become the senior editor for style as well as pronunciation. She wrote not only the Random House style manuals but also what is arguably the first user-friendly “Guide to the Dictionary” to appear in a major reference work. It includes her brilliant innovation, a table of sound-spelling correspondences in English, which shows all the ways the sounds in English can be spelled, to help the poor person who wouldn’t be looking up a word if they knew how to spell it in the first place.

Enid is the original “early adopter.” Her keen interest in computers in the aid of lexicography dates back to when Larry Urdang introduced the first-ever computer-based system to be used for compiling a major dictionary. In the early 1980s she worked with Paul Hayslett to create an integrated database, editorial, and composition system housing SGML-tagged content, bringing Random House Reference into the digital age several years before even the innovators among the ELT dictionary publishers had moved to all-digital systems. And in the early 1990s she oversaw the production of the first CD-ROM version of the Unabridged – which is a true gem of a product, perfectly suited to its format, full of search capabilities and features that are difficult to achieve online. Without that digital heritage, there would be no

On top of all this, Enid oversaw the Random House line of thesauruses, and she commissioned and meticulously edited special-subject dictionaries on computers, the law, medicine, and sign language, where the editor isn’t even listed in the credits. But in Enid’s case, the authors took care to praise her in their acknowledgments.

If you ask Enid what interested and challenged her most, she’s likely to say Elaine Costello’s American Sign Language Dictionary. So I’d like to share what Costello said about her:

“I wish to express my highest regard to my soul-mate Enid Pearsons, editor and lexicographer, who worked with sensitivity and preciseness in making sure that the English citations reflected the linguistic properties of sign language as closely as possible. Her faithfulness and laborious attention in making this dictionary complete, accessible, and accurate are deeply appreciated.”

I, too, wish to express my highest regard for Enid for her distinguished achievement in lexicography. I’m thrilled that today she finally gets top billing.

Ladislav Zgusta Honorary Presidential Member

Photo: Courtesy of Laura Bahler

Carly Bahler is a PhD candidate in French Linguistics at Indiana University. A native of Chicago, Carly entered the program in the fall of 2011. She plans for an August 2019 defense of her dissertation entitled “Irrealis in a declining dialect: The case of French in the Saint John Valley” directed by longtime DSNA member Kevin Rottet. Carly’s study focuses on the expression of irrealis mood in the French of under-researched French-speaking communities including Madawaska, along the border between New Brunswick and Maine. This area is of interest both as a crossroads of contact between Acadian and Laurentian dialects of French, as well as for the contact with English which has in recent decades brought about its precipitous decline. For the past couple of years, Carly has also been working as a research assistant on the project based at IU to produce a Differential, Historical and Etymological Dictionary of Louisiana French which involves DSNA members Albert Valdman and Kevin Rottet (both of IU) and Tom Klingler (of Tulane University, New Orleans). Carly’s work on this project has involved compiling detailed reports documenting each of the approximately 600 lexical items that the three co-authors are treating. This has given Carly exposure to a vast pool of resources on North American French dialectology, a task she has embraced with great relish and on which she has brought to bear her own work in the Saint John Valley, often contributing important lexical insights from the French of that region. 

Madeline Kripke Honorary Presidential Member

Photo: Serenity Carr

Serenity Carr graduated from Smith College with a degree in linguistics and logic, and was hired as an editorial assistant at Merriam-Webster in 2015. She was predestined for lexicography: she has been an avid dictionary collector for many years, and her undergraduate thesis, titled “Modern Uses of the Word Like in the Generations Under 40,” was essentially a lexicographical treatment of everyone’s favorite adverb. Upon joining vxMerriam-Webster, Carr proved herself a quick learner; she was promoted to assistant editor in short order and given charge of the blog and social media feeds for the Merriam-Webster Learner’s Dictionary website. As a lexicographer, she’s written definitions for the online Merriam-Webster dictionary, where she brings a level of discernment and understanding to her defining that many editors spend years honing. The commercial dictionary landscape is changing rapidly, but Carr’s flexibility paired with a commitment to solid lexicography bodes well for her.


At the Conference three Society management meetings were held. Kory Stamper has provided reports of these meetings to the Society.

DSNA22 Exec Board Meeting:

Luanne von Schneidemesser, Lise Winer, Steve Kleinedler, Sarah Ogilvie, Kory Stamper Missing: Elizabeth Knowles, Ed Finegan, Anne Curzan, Stefan Dollinger, Peter Gilliver, David Jost

The DSNA Executive Board met at DSNA22 and heard a presentation given by Gilles-Maurice de Schryver, President of EURALEX, on the aims and goals of EURALEX. The Board agreed that, while the models for North American lexicography were certainly different from many models present in Europe, that the goals and vision of EURALEX to forefront lexicography in public discourse and in new commercial enterprises, and to secure funding for lexicographical projects nonetheless resonated with members of the Board. The Board thanks Dr. de Schryver for his presentation. (For more information on EURALEX, visit

The Executive Secretary then gave a Finance and Membership Report to the Board, which was also given at the general business meeting, and the Board then took up the discussion regarding DSNA23, and where it would be. Several options were being investigated, with a broader discussion about the aims and goals of the biennial meeting being discussed.

The Board discussed the report from the Membership Committee, which was dissolved at the recommendation of that committee. The Board will be undertaking some strategic planning for membership before reconvening the Membership Committee.

The Board thanked its outgoing officers for their service: Luanne von Schneidemesser as Past President, Steve Kleinedler as President, Stefan Dollinger as Member at Large, and Lise Winer as Member at Large. The Board also welcomed its new members: Ed Finegan as Vice-President (with Elizabeth Knowles being elevated to position of President and Steve Kleinedler being elevated to Past President), David Jost as Member at Large, and Anne Curzan as Member at Large.

DSNA22 PubCom Meeting:

Michel Hancher, Sarah Ogilvie, Ed Finegan, Traci Nagle, Janet DeCesaris, Wendi Nichols, Kory Stamper, Orion Montoya, Brianne Hughes. Missing: Elizabeth Knowles, David Jost (on phone Wendi is holding). Photo: Orion Montoya

The Publications Committee of the DSNA met at DSNA22 to discuss future plans for the journal. There are many changes coming to the academic journal landscape, including an EU resolution that requires all content published within academic journals be accessible via open access, and the Publications Committee spent time discussing how they could best start approaching this subject.

The Newsletter and Website were also discussed. There have been some behind-the-scenes changes taken to make our website more secure and more visible to online searches, and there are plans for expanding the members-only section of the site.

There was also a discussion regarding essay awards, or reviving the Urdang scholarship (which was exhausted several years back). Succession planning and future journals were also discussed.

DSNA22 General Business Meeting:

The Business Meeting for DSNA members took place on May 11, 2019, at the conclusion of DSNA22. There was excellent turnout from members and lively discussion.

Outgoing President Steve Kleinedler opened the meeting with a word of thanks to Michael Adams for hosting DSNA22, and to all who had attended to make the conference so successful.

Kory Stamper, the Executive Secretary of the DSNA, gave a brief overview of major changes that the DSNA has undergone in the two years since the DSNA21 conference in Barbados. Notably, the DSNA journal now publishes twice a year; the Society has a new website; the Society is using a better membership management system; and many behind-the-scenes pieces for better governance (liability insurance, updated accounting software, legal representation) have been put in place.

Stamper then gave a Finance and Membership Report. Financially, the Society is generally improving: the new membership software has increased our renewal rate, and the income we receive from Project MUSE is relatively steady. We have had new expenses to account for as well: notably, the aforementioned membership software, doubled expenses for producing twice as many journals a year as before, and website expenses. The goal of both the Executive Secretary and the Executive Board is to ensure that the Society stays on firm financial footing with an eye towards the future.

Our general membership has increased slowly over the last two years, which bucks the trend present for many small societies. We are still a small organization, however, and the Executive Board is undertaking casting a vision for future membership drives.

The venue for DSNA23 was discussed, with the Executive Secretary noting that we had not yet found a venue, but that the Board, and in particular the new President and Vice-President, were examining several different options, including a standalone conference, a co-located conference, and a “piggyback” conference (as was done for DSNA22 and DSNA20 with SHEL).


Executive Board:

Elizabeth Knowles, President

Steve Kleinedler, Past President

Ed Finegan, Vice-President

Kory Stamper, Executive Secretary

Peter Gilliver, Member at Large

Sarah Ogilvie, Member at Large

David Jost, Member at Large

Anne Curzan, Member at Large

Membership Committee: dissolved

Publications Committee:

Wendi Nichols, President

Ed Finegan, Journal Editor

Traci Nagle, Reviews Editor

Orion Montoya, Member/Associate Journal Editor

Sarah Ogilvie, Member/Associate Journal Editor

Elizabeth Knowles, Past Journal Editor, DSNA President

David Jost, Newsletter Editor/Website

Kory Stamper, Executive Secretary

Janet de Cesaris, Member

Michael Hancher, Member

Brianne Hughes, Member

Nominating Committee, 2018:

Connie Eble

Michael Hancher

Sarah Ogilvie

Katy Isaacs


Dictionary Society of North America 22/Studies in the History of the English Language 11

Wednesday, May 8

8:00–3:30        Excursion to the Cordell Collection, Indiana State University

9:00–4:00        Globalex Workshop on Lexicography and Neologism (GWLN 2019), organized and led by Ilan Kernerman (K Dictionaries) and Annette Klosa-Kückelhaus (Leibniz Institute for German Language/University of Mannheim) in the Sassafras Room

9:00–3:30        Seminar on Descriptive and Prescriptive Approaches in Lexicography, organized and led by Edward Finegan (University of Southern California) in the Walnut Room (Participation is by invitation; papers have been pre-circulated)

Session 1A: Defining Problems

Room:             Walnut           

Chair:              David Vancil (Indiana State University)

4:00                 Krista Williams (College of Charleston) and Kory Stamper (Independent lexicographer), “Groups of colors in American and European dictionaries”

4:30                 Paper moved because of cancellation.

5:00                 Orin Hargraves (Independent lexicographer), “Century Dictionary definitions of Charles Sanders Peirce”

5:30                 Robert Krovetz (Lexical Research), “A cross-dictionary comparison of word sense individuation and lexical semantic relationships”

Session 1B: The Editor’s Perspective

Room:             Persimmon

Chair:              Janet DeCesaris (Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona)

4:00                 Brianne Hughes (Bishop Fox), “Self-made lexicographer: How I compiled a cybersecurity style guide”

4:30                 Paul Schaffner (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor), “The ‘new’ Middle English Dictionary: Resurrection or zombie apocalypse?”

5:00                 Carly Bahler (Indiana University, Bloomington), “Towards a dictionary of New England French: Lessons from Louisiana French lexicography”

5:30                 Rachel Stone (Druide Informatique), “A new dictionary of antonyms for writing software”

Session 1C: Old English Matters

Room:             Maple Room

Chair:              Matthew Lynch (Indiana University, Bloomington)

4:00                 R. D. Fulk (Indiana University, Bloomington), “West-Saxon prose and the lexemic theory of Anglo-Saxon scribal method”

4:30                 Danielle Williams (University of Nebraska, Kearney), “Translating compounds in The Wanderer

5:00                 Megan Hartman (University of Nebraska, Kearney), “Stretching formulaic diction”

5:30                 Stephen C. E. Hopkins (University of Central Florida), “Leveraging perplexity in Old English critical editions”

Opening reception

Room:             State Room East

Host:               Michael Adams (Indiana University, Bloomington)

6:30–8:00        This reception, provided by the Indiana University Office of the Bicentennial, celebrates the university’s foundational role in establishing lexicography as an academic discipline, first by hosting a lexicography conference here in 1960, later by publishing the proceedings of that conference as Problems in Lexicography, a new edition of which will be published by Indiana University Press in 2020

DSNA Publications Committee Meeting

Venue:             The home of Traci C. Nagle and Sumit Ganguly


Thursday, May 9

8:00–9:00        Breakfast in the Frangipani Room

SHEL Plenary I

Room:             Frangipani

Chair:              R. D. Fulk (Indiana University, Bloomington)

9:00–10:00      Daniel Donoghue (Harvard University), “The next innovation? Dictionaries as databases”

10:00–10:30    Beverage Break in the Frangipani Room

Session 2A: New Words, New Meanings, New Histories, New Questions

Room:             Walnut

Chair:              Lindsay Rose Russell (University of Illinois, Urbana–Champaign)

10:30               Paz Battaner (Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona) and Irene Renau (Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaiso), “The lexicography of English at the Real Academia Española”

11:00               Elizabeth Knowles (Editor, Oxford Dictionary of Quotations), “One dictionary, two introductions: The first edition of the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, 1941”

11:30               Patrick Hanks (University of Wolverhampton) “What is phraseology, why is it relevant to dictionaries, and why has it been neglected in traditional dictionaries?”

12:00               Janet DeCesaris (Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona) and Carla Morello (University of Turin) “New meanings for old words in dictionaries of Italian and Spanish”

Session 2B: Philosophies of Lexicography

Room:             Persimmon

Chair:              Connie C. Eble (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

10:30               Donna M. T. Cr. Farina (New Jersey City University), Marjeta Vrbinc (University of Ljubljana), and Alenka Vrbinc (University of Ljubljana), “The philosophy of lexicography: Slovenian lexicographers reflect”

11:00               Michael Hancher (University of Minnesota), “Dictionary vs. encyclopedia, then and now”

11:30               Shigeru Yamada (Waseda University), “Utility of EFL dictionaries for reading a political text: The case of Obama’s Farewell Address”

12:00               Don W. Chapman (Brigham Young University), “Say X and not Y: Fundamental elements of usage guide entries”

Session 2C: The Internationally Famous SHEL Pedagogy Session

Room:             Maple

Chairs:             Chris Palmer (Kennesaw State University) and Colette Moore (University of Washington)

10:30–12:30    Pedagogy Session

Yin Liu (University of Saskatchewan), Annina Seiler (University of Zurich), K. Aaron Smith (Illinois State University), and Trini Stickle (Western Kentucky University)

12:30–1:30      Lunch (on your own)

Session 3A: Dictionaries Define Culture

Room:             Walnut

Chair:              Michael Hancher (University of Minnesota)

1:30                 Traci C. Nagle (Indiana University, Bloomington), “Defining highway robbery: The Ramaseeana and the British Campaign against Thugee in India, 1835–1840”

2:00                 Virginia Meirelles (University of Brasilia), “An investigation of the occupations listed in two editions of Webster’s Spelling Book in A Dictionary for Primary Schools

2:30                 Alexandra Doherty (University of British Columbia), “The Western Canadian Dictionary and the making of the Canadian West”

3:00                 Linda C. Mitchell (San José State University), “Dictionaries, foreigners, and assimilation in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England”

Session 3B: Panel on Dictionary Front Matter — Across Languages, Across Cultures, Across Time

Room:             Persimmon

Chair:              Peter Sokolowski (Merriam-Webster)

1:30–3:00        Janet DeCesaris (Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona), “The Anointed Six: Front matter in the Spanish Royal Academy dictionaries, from the 18th to our century”

Donna M. T. Cr. Farina (New Jersey City University), “Language, culture, and standard language: Front matter in 20th-century Soviet–Russian dictionaries”

Carla Marello (University of Turin), “Disappearing act: Front matter in electronic versions of 20th-century Italian dictionaries”

Alenka Vrbinc (University of Ljubljana) and Marjeta Vrbinc (University of Ljubljana), “Focus on the user: Front matter in Slovenian dictionaries”

Session 3C: Sounds of (Mostly) English

Room:             Maple

Chair:              Stephen C. E. Hopkins (University of Central Florida)

1:30                 Anatoly Liberman (University of Minnesota), “The uses of historical phonology”

2:00                 Paper canceled

2:30                 Donka Minkova (UCLA), “Rhyme evidence for final cluster simplification in Early Middle English: /-ŋg/ > /-ŋ/ and /-rs/ > /-s/

3:00                 William A. Kretzschmar, Jr. (University of Georgia) and Katherine Kuiper (University of Georgia), “Apparent time in Big Data phonetic analysis”

3:30     Break with snacks in the Frangipani Room

Session 4A: Panel on The Differential, Historical, and Etymological Dictionary of Louisiana French, in Four Parts

Room:             Walnut

Chair:              Jason Siegel (The University of the West Indies)

4:00–5:00        Albert Valdman (Indiana University, Bloomington), Tom Klingler (Tulane University), Kevin Rottet (Indiana University. Bloomington), and Marvin Moody (Indiana University, Bloomington)

Session 4B: Literary Quotation

Room:             Maple

Chair:              Steve Kleinedler (President, Dictionary Society of North America)

4:00                 Don W. Chapman (Brigham Young University), “A truth universally acknowledged: Literary quotations in the history of the English language”

4:30                 Madeline Keyser (Indiana University, Bloomington), “From marginalia to Middle-Earth: Sixteen philological books and their influence on J.R.R. Tolkien’s fiction”

Exhibit and Reception at the Lilly Library

Conveners:      Erika Dowell (Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington) and Michael Adams (Indiana University, Bloomington)

5:00–7:00        We will introduce you to some of the Lilly’s vast collection of dictionaries and related archives and works on the history of English, especially the recent gift, by Cynthia Barnhart, of the Barnhart Collection (see the brief introduction to the collection in this Newsletter in the Collections section.)

DSNA Executive Board Meeting

Room:             Walnut

Chair:              Steve Kleinedler (President, DSNA)


Friday, May 10

8:00–9:00        Breakfast in the Frangipani Room

9:00–10:00      SHEL Plenary II

Room:             Frangipani

Chair:              Anne Curzan (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)

9:00–10:00      Carol Percy (University of Toronto), “The standardization of English and the eighteenth-century stage”

10:00–10:30    Beverage Break in the Frangipani Room

Session 5A: Lexicography of the Unexpected

Room:             Walnut

Chair:              Ronald R. Butters (Duke University)

10:30               Ben Zimmer (Wall Street Journal), “‘Why this residual prudishness?’: How the f-word was removed from Webster’s Third

11:00               Debbie Anderson (University of California, Berkeley) and Jane Solomon (, “Defining emoji: Why lexicographers should care about emoji meaning”

11:30               Maria Barrera-Agarwal (Brooklyn, New York), “Knowing Vidyā: The lexicographical journey of an erroneous definition”

12:00               Annette Klosa-Kückelhaus (Leibniz Institute for German Language/University of Mannheim), “English loan words in Modern German”

Session 5B: Histories of Lexicography

Room:             Persimmon

Chair:              Linda C. Mitchell (San José State University)

10:30               Volker Harm (University of Göttingen), “Passow, Gesner, Grimm, and the rise of modern lexicography out of Classical studies”

11:00               Kelsey Wilson (University of British Columbia), “‘Francis Grose: An early descriptivist?’: The uptake of slang terms as a descriptive diagnostic throughout the editions of the Oxford English Dictionary

11:30               Alexander Bocast (Berkeley Bridge Press), “Evolution of the dictionaries of John Entick and William Perry”

12:00               Jason Siegel (The University of the West Indies), “Uncovering the Lexique de Saint Barthélmy

Session 5C: Syntax and Pragmatics

Room:             Maple

Chair:              Wen Xin (University of Kansas)

10:30               Sarah Schwarz (Uppsala University), “Telicity and affectedness in the prepositional passive: A corpus study”

11:00               Erik Smitterberg (Uppsala University), “Relative and participle clauses as noun-phrase postmodifiers in nineteenth-century English”

11:30               Johanna Wood (Aarhus University), “The Nouns couple and pair used as degree modifers”

12:00               Reijiro Shibasaki (Meiji University), “From punctuation to pragmatic marker, period: Written language as a source of language change”

Session 6A: Deep Dives

Room:             Walnut

Chair:              Kevin Rottet (Indiana University, Bloomington) 

1:30                 Ligeia Lugli (King’s College London), “Towards a Sanskrit Corpus Dictionary: Recent advances in Sanskrit Natural Language Processing and their implications for Sanskrit lexicography”

2:00                 Regiani Aparecida Santos Zacarias (San Paulo State University), Mariana Paoleschi Antunes de Souza (San Paulo State University), and Tatiane Rodrigues Lopes dos Santos (San Paulo State University), “Corpus analysis in the making of a Portuguese-English dictionary of verbs for Brazilian students — Focus on the user’s perspective”

2:30                 Ammon Shea (Merriam-Webster), “The translator as coiner: Examining sixteenth- and seventeenth-century translations of Spanish literature for evidence of antedating”

3:00                 Ronald R. Butters (Duke University), “Fire cider”

Session 6B: Something New

Room:             Persimmon

Chair:              Edward Finegan (University of Southern California)

1:30                 Anatoly Liberman (University of Minnesota), “An explanatory dictionary of English idioms”

2:00                 Paper canceled.

2:30                 Iztok Kosem (University of Ljubljana), Carole Tiberius (University of Leiden), Jelena Kallas (Institute of Estonian Language, Estonia), Miloš Jakubíček (Masaryk University), Simon Krek (University of Ljubljana), Margit Langemets (Institute of Estonian Language, Estonia), and Svetla Koeva (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences), “European Lexicographic Infrastructure (ELEXIS): First results”

3:00                 Iztok Kosem (University of Ljubljana), Špela Arhar Holdt (University of Ljubljana), Jaka Čibej (University of Ljubljana), Kaja Dobrovoljc (University of Ljubljana), Polona Gantar (University of Ljubljana), Vojko Gorjanc (University of Ljubljana), Bojan Klemenc (University of Ljubljana), Simon Krek (University of Ljubljana), Cyprian Laskowski (University of Ljubljana), Nikola Ljubešić (University of Ljubljana), Eva Pori (University of Ljubljana), Marko Robnik Šikonja (University of Ljubljana), “Making dictionaries responsive: Benefits for both users and lexicographers”

Session 6C: Pragmatics Redux

Room:             Maple

Chair:              Bethany Christiansen (The Ohio State University)

1:30                 Tomoharu Hirota (University of British Columbia) and Laurel J. Brinton (University of British Columbia), “The development of a confirmation marker: You bet (you)

2:00                 Fuyo Osawa (Hosei University), “Secondary grammaticalization: Its true nature”

2:30                 Wen Xin (University of Kansas), “A diachronic study of metadiscourse in English language studies”

3:00                 Colette Moore (University of Washington), “Invented Languages, Indigenous Languages, and HEL”

3:30–4:00        Break with snacks in the Frangipani Room

Panel on Problems in Lexicography

Room:             Frangipani

Chair:              Michael Adams (Indiana University, Bloomington)

4:00–5:00        Michael Adams, Patrick Hanks (University of Wolverhampton), and Janet DeCesaris (Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona)

Awards Presentations and Valedictory Address

Room:             Frangipani

Chair:              Steve Kleinedler (President, Dictionary Society of North America)

5:00–6:00        Presentation of the Richard W. Bailey Award for Distinguished Service to Lexicography or Lexicology to Connie C. Eble (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) by Ben Zimmer (Wall Street Journal)

                        Presentation of the Frederic G. Cassidy Award for Distinguished Achievement in Lexicography or Lexicology to Enid Pearsons by Wendalyn Nichols

Steve Kleinedler (President, Dictionary Society of North America), “A Life in Lexicography”


Room:             State Room, East and West

Host:               Michael Adams (Indiana University, Bloomington)


After Dinner Entertainment: “‘The Big Book’: A musical discussion of lexicographical thought”

Room:             Frangipani

Chair:              Ammon Shea (Merriam-Webster)

8:00–9:00        Lindsay Rose Russell (University of Illinois), Orion Montoya (Textio), Orin Hargraves (Independent lexicographer), Rachel Stone (Druide Informatique), and Company

Saturday, May 11

8:00–9:00        Breakfast in the Frangipani Room

SHEL Plenary III

Room:             Frangipani

Chair:              Colette Moore (University of Washington)

9:00–10:00      Peter Grund (University of Kansas), “What is the role of the synchronic in (English) historical linguistics?”

10:00–10:30    Beverage Break in the Frangipani Room

Session 7A: Root and Branch

Room:             Walnut

Chair:              Mark Canada (Indiana University, Kokomo)

10:30               Allan Metcalf (MacMurray College), “Hey, you guys”

11:00               Gerald Cohen (Missouri University of Science and Technology), “Origin of slang galoot

11:30               Matthew Little (Mississippi State University), “Origin of put the kibosh on: Solving a longstanding etymological mystery”

12:00               Sarah Tsiang (Eastern Kentucky University), “Hobbies, horses, and hobby horses: An interesting case of intersecting histories”

Session 7B: Engaging Lexicography

Room:             Persimmon

Chair:              Michael Adams (Indiana University, Bloomington)

10:30               Michael Douma (IDEA), “Using a Word Game App and a Word Explorer App to engage the public”

11:00               Felicia Jean Steele (The College of New Jersey), “Playing with dictionaries: A Model for teacher professional development”

11:30               Beth Young (University of Central Florida), “Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary’s greatest hits”

Session 7C: SHEL Potpourri (for $1000)

Room:             Maple

Chair:              Megan Hartman (University of Nebraska, Kearney)

10:30               Bethany Christiansen (The Ohio State University), “Old English-to-Latin Translation in an Early Anglo-Norman Medical Text”

11:00               Jennifer Stone (University of Alaska, Anchorage), “The Role of English in ‘Civilizing’ and Americanizing Alaska: Mission Language Policies 1877–1931”

11:30               Amanda Sladek (University of Nebraska, Kearney), “Putting HEL into Interdisciplinary Dialogue: A Case Study of ‘Literacy’”

12:00               Matthew Lynch (Indiana University, Bloomington), “The Sources of Richard Verstegan’s Old English Glossary in Restitution of Decayed Intelligence

DSNA Business Meeting

Chair:              Steve Kleinedler (President, DSNA)

Room:             Walnut


SHEL Business Meeting

Chair:              Michael Adams (Indiana University, Bloomington)

Room:             Maple


Globalex Workshop on Lexicography and Neologism (pre-conference)

Organized and led by Ilan Kernerman (K Dictionaries) and Annette Klosa-Kückelhaus (Leibniz Institute for German Language/University of Mannheim) in the Sassafras Room

Ieda Maria Alves (University of São Paolo, Brazil), “Can a university project dedicated to the search for neologisms be useful to lexicographers?”

Gilles-Maurice de Schryver (Ghent University, Belgium) and Jutta De Nul (University of Pretoria, South Africa), “Linguistics terminology and neologisms in Swahili: Rules vs. practice”

Judit Freixa (Pompeu Fabra University, Spain) and Sergi Torner (Pompeu Fabra University, Spain),“Beyond frequency: On the dictionarisation of new words in Spanish”

Kathrin Kunkel-Razum (Bibliographisches Institut GmbH, Germany), “New words for the Duden

Margit Langemets (Institute of the Estonian Language, Estonia) and Jelena Kallas (Institute of the Estonian Language, Estonia), “New Estonian words and senses: Detection and description”

Katherine Connor Martin (Oxford University Press, USA), “A system for evaluating multiple data inputs to prioritize neologisms for inclusion in dictionaries”

Erin McKean (Wordnik, USA), “Using the web annotation tool for neologism collection”

Kilim Nam (Kyungpook National University, Korea), Sujin Lee (Kyungpook National University, Korea), and Hae-Yun Jung (Kyungpook National University, Korea), “The Korean Neologism Investigation Project: Current status and key issues”

Teruaki Oka (Corpus Development Center, National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics, Japan), “New words in Japanese and the design of UniDic electronic dictionary”

Noga Porath (Melingo Ltd, Israel), “Adding neologisms to the Hebrew online dictionary Rav-Milim

Hindrik Sijens (Fryske Akademy, Netherlands) and Hans Van de Velde (Fryske Akademy, Netherlands), “The formation of neologisms in a lesser used language: The case of Frisian”

Lars Trap-Jensen (Society for Danish Language and Literature, Denmark), “Anglicisms and language-internal neologisms: Dealing with new words and expressions in The Danish Dictionary

Anna Vacalopoulou (Institute for Language and Speech Processing/Athena R.C., Greece), “Exploring criteria for the inclusion of trademarks in general language dictionaries of Modern Greek”

Vivien Waszink (Instituut voor de Nederlandse Taal, Netherlands), “Neologisms in a Dutch online portal”

Seminar on Descriptive and Prescriptive Approaches in Lexicography

Organized and led by Edward Finegan (University of Southern California)

Don Chapman (Brigham Young University), “(Big) data and grammar: Competing authorities?”

Giovanni Iamartino (University of Milan) and Giuseppi Polimeni (University of Milan), “Usage and its discontents in present-day Italian and Italian–English lexicography”

M. Lynne Murphy (University of Sussex), “Defining your p’s and q’s: Politeness, prescriptivism, and polysemy”

Pádraig Ó Mianáin (The New English–Irish Dictionary), “Whose language is it anyway?”

Geoffrey Nunberg (University of California, Berkeley), “When words matter, or where are dictionaries when you need them?”

Jason Siegel (The University of the West Indies), “Creating regional norms: Richard & Jeannette Allsopp’s mission for Caribbean lexicography”

Panel on Dictionary Front Matter (special write-up)

At DSNA 2019, a panel on dictionary front matter was organized by Janet DeCesaris of Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona and Donna M. T. Cr. Farina of New Jersey City University. Entitled “Dictionary Front Matter: Across Languages, Across Cultures, Across Time,” the panel included four short papers followed by a discussion moderated by Peter Sokolowski of Merriam-Webster. The four papers are listed in order of presentation:

The Anointed Six: Front Matter in the Spanish Royal Academy Dictionaries, from the 18th to Our Century.  Janet DeCesaris, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona.

Language, Culture, and Standard Language: Front Matter in 20th-Century Soviet–Russian Dictionaries.  Donna M. T. Cr. Farina, New Jersey City University.

Disappearing Act: Front Matter in Electronic Versions of 20th-Century Italian Dictionaries. Carla Marello, University of Torino.

Focus on the User: Front Matter in Slovenian Dictionaries. Marjeta Vrbinc and Alenka Vrbinc, University of Ljubljana. 

A fifth paper, “Talk This Way: Orthoepy Dictionaries, ‘Fixing’ Accents, and Early Attempts at IPA,” by Rebecca Shapiro of New York City College of Technology, was not presented in Bloomington as Dr. Shapiro was unable to attend.

As can be seen from the titles, the panelists addressed dictionary front matter from several different viewpoints. One of the reasons front matter is so interesting is that it lends itself both to an historical perspective, covering several editions of the same dictionary, as well as to issues that are relevant to today’s dictionary users such as the explanation of the symbols and abbreviations used. The discussion following the paper presentations was lively, with numerous comments offered by the audience on the importance (or insignificance) of front matter. All five papers from the panel, along with an introduction to the topic and a summary of the discussion, are expected to appear in an upcoming issue of the journal Lexicography.

Janet DeCesaris and Donna M. T. Cr. Farina


This issue of the Newsletter is almost completely a compilation of materials coming out of DSNA22—our conference held at the University of Indiana in Bloomington. These materials include a complete program, reports from the various DSNA meetings, award presentations,  information on the Barnhart and Cordell collections, entertainment, Steve Kleinedler’s presidential speech, and many photographs. You will also find some member news as usual and an obituary for Michael Montgomery written by Connie Eble. For those of you who could attend the Conference, this issue will remind you of the event, and for those who could not attend, it will offer a vicarious experience of the Conference.