Usage labels in Basnage’s dictionnaire universal (1701)

By September 7, 2022,
Page 755-764
Author Clarissa Stincone
Title Usage labels in Basnage’s dictionnaire universal (1701)
Abstract Basnage’s revision (1701) of Furetière’s Dictionnaire universel is profoundly different from Furetière’s work in several regards. One of the most noticeable features of the dictionary lies in his in­ creased use of usage labels. Although Fureti?re already made use of usage labels (see Rey 1990), Basnage gives them a prominent role. As he states in the preface to his edition, a dictionary that aspires to the title of “universal” should teach how to speak in a polite way (“poliment”), right (“juste”) and making use of specific terminology for each art. He specifies, lemma by lemma, the diaphasic dimension by indicating the word’s register and context of use, the diastratic one by noting the differences in the use of the language within the social strata, the diachronic evolution by indicating both archaisms and neologisms, the diamesic aspect by highlighting the gaps between oral and written language, the diatopic one by specifying either foreign borrowings or regionalisms. After extracting the entries containing formulas such as “ce mot est …”, “ce terme est …” and similar ones, we compare the number of entries and the type of information provided by the two lexicographers. In this paper, we will focus on Basnage’s innovative contribution. Furthermore, we will try to identify the lexicographer’s sources, i. e. we will try to establish on which grammars, collections of linguistic remarks or contemporary dictionaries Basnage relies his judgements.
Session Talk
Keywords Historical lexicography, Dictionnaire universel, Basnage de Beauval, 17th century, usage labels
address = {Mannheim},
title = {Usage {Labels} in {Basnage}'s {Dictionnaire} {Universal} (1701)},
isbn = {978-3-937241-87-6},
shorttitle = {Euralex (2022)},
url = {},
language = {eng},
booktitle = {Dictionaries and {Society}. {Proceedings} of the {XX} {EURALEX} {International} {Congress}},
publisher = {IDS-Verlag},
author = {Stincone, Clarissa},
editor = {Klosa-Kückelhaus, Annette and Engelberg, Stefan and Möhrs, Christine and Storjohann, Petra},
year = {2022},
pages = {755--764},