Scottish Lexicography: Major Resources in Minority Languages

By November 17, 2016,
AuthorLorna Pike, Christine Robinson
TitleScottish Lexicography: Major Resources in Minority Languages
AbstractThis paper focuses on current aspects of the lexicography of two minority languages in Scotland, Scottish Gaelic and Scots, and looks at two projects at either end of the lexicographical spectrum: Faclair na Gàidhlig, an on-line full historical dictionary of Gaelic and the new edition of the Concise Scots Dictionary (CSD, 1985), a one-volume derived dictionary of Scots. A brief outline of the history of both languages is given. Each in turn was the dominant language in Scotland until both were replaced by English. The paper looks at how Scotland’s minority languages have benefited from the skills of the Scots who contributed to English lexicography. Sir James Murray, first Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), pioneered the application of historical principles to English lexicography and his colleague, Sir William Craigie, applied those same principles to the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (DOST) which covers the Scots language from the 12th century to 1700. These skills are now being transferred into Scottish Gaelic.
Faclair na Gàidhlig will be an on-line historical dictionary of Gaelic compiled on similar principles to OED and DOST. The major challenge in establishing a project of this magnitude is to create a lexicographical tradition as effectively and efficiently as possible. The paper outlines the approach adopted. A draft noun entry is examined with discussion of entry structure and organisation. Scots is equipped with two historical dictionaries, DOST and its modern counterpart the Scottish National Dictionary (SND). CSD is a one-volume distillation of these works. The second edition will use a more user-friendly structure and update coverage to the 21st century. Sample entries are examined. Scottish lexicography will continue to build on its historical tradition providing Gaelic and Scots with resources comparable to English.
SessionLexicography of Lesser Used or Non-State Languages
author = {Lorna Pike, Christine Robinson},
title = {Scottish Lexicography: Major Resources in Minority Languages},
pages = {1508-1517},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 14th EURALEX International Congress},
year = {2010},
month = {jul},
date = {6-10},
address = {Leeuwarden/Ljouwert, The Netherlands},
editor = {Anne Dykstra and Tanneke Schoonheim},
publisher = {Fryske Akademy},
isbn = {978-90-6273-850-3},