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LINGUIST List 22.4797

Thu Dec 01 2011

FYI: Lexicons of Early Modern English (LEME)

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        1.     Lyda Fens-de Zeeuw , Lexicons of Early Modern English (LEME)

Message 1: Lexicons of Early Modern English (LEME)
Date: 01-Dec-2011
From: Lyda Fens-de Zeeuw <lyda.fens.dezeeuwutoronto.ca>
Subject: Lexicons of Early Modern English (LEME)
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Lexicons of Early Modern English (LEME), published by Toronto
University Press and edited by Ian Lancashire, is a historical database
of monolingual, bilingual, and polyglot dictionaries, lexical
encyclopedias, hard-word glossaries, spelling lists, and lexically-
valuable treatises surviving in print or manuscript from the Tudor,
Stuart, Caroline, Commonwealth, and Restoration periods. Texts of
word-entries whose headword (source) or explanation (target)
language is English tell us what speakers of English thought about their
tongue in the period served by the Short-title and Wing catalogues,
from the advent of printing to about 1700. Their lexical insights, which
may at times seem misguided to us, shaped the history of our living
tongue. Any contemporary's testimony about the meaning of their own
words has an undeniable authority.

There are two versions of LEME, a public one and a licensed one. The
public version of LEME allows anyone, anywhere, to do simple
searches on the multilingual lexical database -- which currently
includes major monolingual English and bilingual English-French-
Italian-Latin-Spanish dictionaries, soon to be accompanied by a Dutch
one -- but it lacks advanced retrieval options, such as proximity and
Boolean queries, regular expressions, and searching by date, subject,
language, position in the word-entry, etc. Bibliographical entries for
only the searchable texts are available. Queries can be restricted to
one or more individual works in LEME, and up to one-hundred word-
entries in which a queried word occurs may be retrieved. Results of
searches may be held in a notepad for printing or e-mailing. Context-
sensitive help for searching is available.

The licensed version of LEME has the functionality of the public version
but is designed as a full-featured scholarly resource for original
research into the entire lexical content of Early Modern English.
The primary LEME database of lexical works, in the licensed version,
also offers simple and advanced searches, including regular-
expression and sub-string queries, and proximity and Boolean
searches. The size of search contexts is adjustable. Queries on the
lexical database may be restricted by date, author, title, type of lexical
work, and subject. A complete word-list of the lexical database may be
browsed. An index to over 1,200 known lexical works in the period may
be searched by date, author, title, subject, and genre. There is also a
biographical index.

The public version serves general readers and schools. The licensed
version serves colleges and universities.

We gladly welcome comments and suggestions but as of yet we do not
have sufficient resources to answer all questions.

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics; Lexicography

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