Thanks to lexicographers

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Sat Apr 6 19:55:44 UTC 2002

At 10:32 PM 4/5/02 -0700, Troike wrote:
>Thanks to Jesse and Joanne for enlightening us all on how they make use of
>Barry's valuable contributions. I am wondering yet, given the highly
>condensed citations in the OED, whether a reader finding a citation for
>"Rathskeller" in a travel account from Germany pre-dating the earliest US
>citation, would readily be able to discriminate which was a genuine
>reflection of native English usage. Would editorial space be given to
>clarify this, or would the reader have to check on the full title of the
>work and guess at this conclusion? Where short titles are used, and in the
>even more compressed context of other dictionaries, this distinction might
>be blurred for the average user (such as my students).
>         Thanks again for the informative responses,
>         Rudy

I want to add to Rudy Troike's common-sense argument.  I have read hundreds
of pieces of early travel literature, missionaries' reports, explorers'
journals, etc. (including many Hakluyt Society volumes) in my study of
language contact between Western hemisphere natives and
Europeans.  Citation by European writers of native usages was simply that
in the earliest records: citation.  Borrowing and adoption (often with
adaptation), e.g., of 'canoa', 'cannibales', 'powwow', 'matchett', or
'sagamo', may or may not have followed.  Distinguishing between these two
processes is crucial, it seems to me.

Beverly Olson Flanigan         Department of Linguistics
Ohio University                     Athens, OH  45701
Ph.: (740) 593-4568              Fax: (740) 593-2967

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