1994 – 8 fiche. ISBN 0-88844-922-4 $12.00
Order from the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies (PIMS)
The fifth fascicle of the Dictionary of Old English, the letter A, consists of 1,505 headwords in 2,331 pages on microfiche. The material on which A is based represents a fresh look at all surviving Old English (except multiple copies of texts), an estimated three million running words.
Although the Dictionary of Old English is meant to serve as a bilingual translation dictionary, it is also a historical dictionary, an inventory and description of the English language from its earliest appearance in written records, ca. 600. It is intended to complement the Oxford English Dictionary for the earliest period of the language; indeed, the Dictionary of Old English will catalogue the Old English vocabulary deliberately excluded from the OED because it failed to survive past 1150.
The Dictionary draws on as wide a range of texts — in date, dialect and genre — as possible. It differs from previous dictionaries in several important features: a listing in a simplified paradigmatic order of every spelling which is attested for a word in the Electronic Corpus; frequency counts for each word in the Corpus so that readers can know what proportion of the evidence has been cited; usage labels where they are statistically significant, noting restrictions to a class of texts, to an author, or to a particular period or dialect; exhaustive citation for all words of twelve or fewer occurrences.
Fascicle A was prepared by Antonette diPaolo Healey, Joan Holland, David McDougall, Ian McDougall, Nancy Speirs, and Pauline Thompson, using materials assembled by the late Angus Cameron. Four entries have been written by outside specialists: agan ‘to own’ by Professor Shigeru Ono, Showa Women’s University; agyfan ‘to give, give up’ by Professor Shin’ichi Takeuchi, National Defense Academy, Japan; an ‘one’ by Professor Matti Rissanen, University of Helsinki; and ‘and’ by Professor Eric Stanley, University of Oxford.