Featured Linguist!

Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

Donate Now | Visit the Fund Drive Homepage

Amount Raised:


Still Needed:


Can anyone overtake Syntax in the Subfield Challenge ?

Grad School Challenge Leader: University of Washington

Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

New from Oxford University Press!


What is English? And Why Should We Care?

By: Tim William Machan

To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.

New from Cambridge University Press!


Medical Writing in Early Modern English

Edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Paivi Pahta

This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.

Email this page
E-mail this page

Review of  Old French English Dictionary

Reviewer: Jed Evans
Book Title: Old French English Dictionary
Book Author: Alan Hindley Brian J. Levy Frederick W Langley
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Linguistic Field(s): Lexicography
Subject Language(s): English
Book Announcement: 12.238

Discuss this Review
Help on Posting

Alan Hindley, Frederick W. Langley, and Brian J. Levy, eds. (2000) Old
French-English Dictionary, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 621
pages, 85 GBP (Approximately 125 USD).

Reviewed by: Jed Evans, Independent Researcher


Compiled from a broad range of texts across the span of Old French
literature, the Old French-English Dictionary from Cambridge University
Press is a useful lexical tool for students of Old French, medievalists
and scholars of other fields. It contains numerous alternate spellings
when they are found and a number of contextual meanings when necessary.
The book is divided into two sections, the Introduction and the
Dictionary. The introduction gives a list of the abbreviations used in the
dictionary, a bibliography of related works and some information on the
aim and structure of the dictionary. Each of the approximately 60,000
entries contains a headword, the grammatical function of the word, and the
primary definition, followed by alternative definitions and/or idiomatic
usage. In addition, the typeface is clear and legible with boldface


This is a dictionary that meets its goals very well. The editors state, in
the introduction, that their aim was to create a single-volume dictionary
to facilitate the needs of a broad range of individuals and supply readers
of a variety of genres with ample lexical information. The dictionary
then goes beyond that and simplifies the task of the reader and the
philologist, supplying alternative spellings and usage information. The
English equivalents are often conveniently given in cognate form and with
synonyms, so as to dispel any lack of comprehension while, at the same
time, increasing its value as a learning tool. Though excellent in some
applications, the dictionary can be disappointing in others. For example,
the dictionary very rarely cites irregularities and boasts no appendices
for the treatment of such things, which might help the very audience it is
intended to reach. In addition, the dictionary omits a great deal of
information that is included in the database from which it was compiled.
Word origins are entirely omitted, which would seem rather disappointing,
not only for the philologist and the linguist but also for the historian
or the Anglophone reader. And, though it might have been perceived to be
overzealous, some explanatory notes on pronunciation would have been
useful in the introduction, to explain differences in spelling and
dialectal discrepancies. Available data that were not included in this
dictionary were the following: date of first appearance, dialectal
prominence, and citations from the corpora. A great deal of this
information would be useful for numerous readers.

In summation, I would recommend this dictionary to casual readers of
Old French as a practical translating tool. In addition, Anglophone users
might find this volume less taxing than a more versatile francophone one.
However, I would not recommend this dictionary to individuals with more
complicated tasks than translation. Though a rather good value for the
casual reader, this dictionary is short on the details that make for a
truly versatile lexicon.

Jed Evans is a senior at Syosset High School in Syosset, NY who is
currently working on a comparative linguistic survey of the French
language from the Dark Ages to the Twentieth Century and beyond. He can
be reached at pezboyska@aol.com.


Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0521345642
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 638
Prices: U.S. $ 140.00