Dictionaries in the European Enlightenment: a testimony to the civilization of its time and the foundations of modern Europe

The paper presents a plan for an international and multidisciplinary research project that is under preparation now and which is looking for collaborators from other universities or research centers. It aims to investigate the role that played monolingual, bilingual, and multilingual dictionaries published in the 18th century in the constitution of modern Europe as we know it now. It is well known that in the 18th century there appeared many dictionaries in various European countries. These dictionaries were mainly monolingual but there appeared many bilingual or plurilingual ones as well. They had a wide range of functions: linguistic (to write and understand texts), but also symbolic, representing the development and the level of civilization and prestige that a given language of culture had in times previous to 19th-century European linguistic nationalisms. Another aspect is text-oriented and text-based: the 18th-century dictionaries used to be built on relatively large sources of contemporary texts and they reflected the level of knowledge in various subjects. Therefore, they can be considered testimonies of contemporary linguistic thinking and the applied linguistics, but at the same time, they resume the development of science, legal thought, political science, etc., illustrating how knowledge spread in the Enlightenment at the international level.

The project seeks to unite researchers dedicated to the linguistic historiography of philologies of European languages, historians of natural sciences, law, and social and political history, among other disciplines. It aims to offer a map of the intellectual and political globalization that began to take place in the 18th century as it is reflected in its dictionaries.

The project currently counts with a small group of researchers from linguistic historiography of Romance languages. Researchers of the historiography of other European philologies are welcome and needed, and so are historians of natural and social sciences specialized in the 18th century. The main aim of the project is to stop working in parallel, horizontal and vertical, tunnels and to form a network, necessary for this type of transdisciplinary research.

Palabras clave

historia de la ciencia historia del pensamiento historiografía lingüística lexicografía

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Ivo Buzek

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      Tabita Fernandes da Silva Tabita

      Comentó el 11/12/2020 a las 14:26:38

      Prezado Ivo Buzek

      Parabéns pelo proposta de projeto tão grandiosa e interessante! Considero particularmente interessante o caráter transdisciplinar do projeto. Minha minha pergunta diz respeito ao seguinte: que tipo de impacto/efeitos para os pesquisadores e centros de pesquisa envolvidos se espera com a formação dessa rede transdisciplinar?


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        Ivo Buzek

        Comentó el 11/12/2020 a las 16:49:06

        Estimada colega, muchas gracias por su pregunta. De momento la red se está formando a base de contactos informales, pero es probable que antes de solicitar el proyecto (ERC Synergy Grant) habrá que firmar por lo menos una serie de Letters of Intent entre todas las universidades implicadas. No le tengo miedo al trabajo que implica el proyecto, pero me temo que la parte burocrática sea agotadora.


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