An analytic dictionary of English etymology, Liberman A., 2008

An analytic dictionary of English etymology, Liberman A., 2008.
      
Фрагмент из книги:
Whether etymologies in our “thick” dictionaries are worth the labor that is spent on them and whether it was prudent to invite a German specialist in Romance linguistics to rewrite the etymologies in the most famous American dictionary of English are clearly a matter of opinion. But one notes with satisfaction that, despite the avowed uselessness, an undertaking like the present one will appeal to those who wish to study the history of the language and even afford them a very pleasant and instructive pastime. The main questions are: Where do we fi nd such people? Is the readership of serious essays on the origin of words limited to professional philologists? These are not idle questions, for while the publisher brings out books to sell them, the author hopes to be noticed and appreciated. So who reads etymological dictionaries? A tolerably good market seems to exist for them.

An analytic dictionary of English etymology, Liberman A., 2008


The Uses of the Prospective Dictionary of English Etymology.
One of the functions of the prospective dictionary (represented below by fi ftyfi ve samples) is to make the literature on English etymology available. Information on the origin of words that surfaced in Middle English and later is especially hard to collect. But this dictionary has not been conceived as a showcase of old and recent opinions. The user of Weekley, Partridge, Onions, Klein, and Barnhart learns little about researchers’ and amateurs’ doubts and almost nothing about their tortuous way to the truth. Dictionaries formulate their conclusions in such a way that few would suspect any depth behind the statements in their pages (compare what has been said about the treatment of bone in ODEE). Etymology, as it appears in English dictionaries, is the only philological science enjoying complete anonymity. Who suggested that soot is related to sit? Who detected cock’s egg in Cockney? Who guessed that surround has nothing to do with round? Are these discoveries fi nal? Indo-European linguistics is full of laws: Verner’s Law, Sievers’s Law, and dozens of others. It is sad that the most brilliant English etymologies are nameless waifs.



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2024-04-19 01:05:45