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IMC 2016: Sessions

Session 131: Defining Medieval Words for Modern Audiences

Monday 4 July 2016, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:Oxford English Dictionary
Organiser:Patricia Stewart, Oxford English Dictionary
Moderator/Chair:Debby Banham, Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic, University of Cambridge
Paper 131-aEnglish in an Irish Dictionary: Thinking about Definitions and Translations in the Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language (eDIL)
(Language: English)
Sharon J. Arbuthnot, Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language (eDIL) / School of Modern Languages, Queen's University Belfast
Index terms: Language and Literature - Celtic, Technology
Paper 131-bWhen is a Unicorn a Rhinoceros?: Defining Medieval Animals and Plants in the Oxford English Dictionary
(Language: English)
Patricia Stewart, Oxford English Dictionary
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English, Language and Literature - Middle English, Language and Literature - Latin, Science
Paper 131-cJust Look It Up in the Dictionary!: Why the Act of Translation Differs from Definition in Anglo-Norman Texts
(Language: English)
Heather Pagan, Anglo-Norman Dictionary, Aberystwyth University
Index terms: Computing in Medieval Studies, Language and Literature - French or Occitan

This session looks at how we define medieval words (words from medieval languages as well as words designating medieval concepts), in modern dictionaries, and the challenges inherent in this process. The issues addressed by these papers include: the differences between translating and defining words, the creation of resources that will be useful to both students and academics, the classification of words and concepts, the evolution of words and their meanings from the Middle Ages to current times, and the ways in which lexicographers handle words for which there is no modern equivalent.