Lexicography: Practicum #1

Practicum #1: The verb recalcitro, -are

Steps of Analysis

  1. Establish a chronological, comprehensive list of citations for analysis.
    • The archive of the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae in Munich contains all citations from the beginnings of the Latin language until Apuleius, with significant excerpts until 600 CE. The citations here are drawn from the archive.
    • The Perseus CD-Rom enables a less complete word study.
    • Concordances cover individual authors and works. For a list of concordances, click here.
  2. Establish the authenticity of the manuscript tradition, by comparing the published editions for each author. Analysis guarantees, as best as possible, that what is transmitted in the text reflects what the author wrote and provides important data on orthography, morphology, and the textual tradition.
  3. Establish context for each reference, including semantic context.
  4. Establish grammatical constructions including recurrent or distinctive structures.

Context and Grammatical Constructions

It is important to understand both the word's relationship with other words in the sentence as well as its relationship with the passage overall. The following link connects to a page containing the passages for the verb recalcitro, -are, as well as a brief commentary on context, syntax, and semantics.

Click here to see the passages.

Organizing the Examples Into Classifications

Creating Classifications

  1. Semantic: The verb describes disobedience to a higher authority, of the emperor, of a senator, of God.
    1. Appositives are helpful: rebelles (AMM. 14.7.14); rebellat (Cypr. Zel. 6); rebellare (QVODV. temp. barb. 2,4,6); obsistens (AMM. 15.7.9); recusat, respuit (AVG. in psalm 18 enarr. 2,11); excutientia, recusantia (AVG. in psalm 96,5); respuit, renuit, repugnat (SCHOL. Hor. Sat. 2,1,20).
    2. Oppositives are helpful: morigeras [sc. naturas] (AMBR. Noe 18,65), mansuetos (AVG. in psalm 96,5; CASSIOD. in psalm 24,9 l. 7), mansuetum pectus (ARNOB. IVN. in psalm 131 l. 8).
    3. The subjects of the verb are helpful: humans v. animals as subjects of the verb.
  2. Conspicuous, recurrent grammatical structures: transitive, intransitive, or absolute uses of the verb, verb plus dative, verb plus prepositions.
  3. The historical relations of the texts to each other.
    • Concrete v. extended use of the word is important:
      • The concrete meaning of the verb-to kick back with the heels of the foot-occurs late and most fully in Augustine.
      • The metaphorical meaning of the word predates the concrete meaning.
      • The earliest use, however, in Horace seems to imply the concrete meaning.
    • Intertexuality: The Christian authors repeat and develop the language of a Biblical passage (Deut. 32,15), cf. PRAEF. bibl. Monarch. in Luc. P. 271, 3 (of Paul), CLEM. Ad Cor. 3,1 (of Jacob), Hier. In Ezech. 9.28 l. 369, RVFIN. Greg. Naz. Orat. 1,90,1.

Creating an Outline of the Categories

The Thesaurus article, as a lexicographical analysis, documents the history of the individual Latin word, beginning with its first usage. The article illustrates the chronological development of a word's semantic range (concrete v. extended meaning), grammatical structures, and intertextual relationships.

  1. Absolute use:
    1. Describes persons who resist;
    2. Describes animals who resist.
  2. With dative, prepositions describing the things which are resisted:
    1. Dative, of things, or persons;
    2. Prepositional phrases.

Sorting the Examples Into the Established Groupings

  1. Absolute use:
    1. Describes persons who resist:
      • HOR. sat. 2, 1, 20;
      • VET LAT. Deut. 32,15 (cod. 100) and VVLG; VEREC. In cant. 2,16; RVFIN. Greg. Naz. Orat. 1,90,1;
      • CYPR. zel. 6;
      • HIER. in Gal. 4,15 l. 41;
      • AVG. in psalm. 18 enarr. 2,11;
      • AVG. in psalm. 24,9;
      • VEN. FORT. expos. orat. 9.
    2. Describes animals that resist:
      • AVG. in psalm. 96.5;
      • AVG. serm. 359,11 coll. Dolbeau 1996 p. 336 l. 272.
  2. With dative, prepositions describing the things which are resisted:
    1. Dative, of things, or persons:
      1. With situations:
        • AMM. 14, 7, 14, 15, 7, 9, 22, 11, 5, 28, 1, 32;
        • AMBR. Noe 18, 65.
      2. With people:
        • ARNOB. IVN. in psalm. 131, l.8;
        • VEREC. in cant. 2, 16, l. 17, l.23.
    2. Prepositional phrases:
      1. Contra:
        • PRAEF. bibl. Monarch. In LUC. P. 271, 3;
        • CHROMAT. in Matth. 9, 2, l. 54;
        • CASSIOD. in psalm 24, 9, l. 7.
      2. Ad:
        • PELAG. Frg. Migne suppl. 1, 1560.

Writing the Thesaurus Article

Determing the Excerpt to Include in the Entry

Selecting passages for citation and excerpting those passages requires two judgements: the significance of the particular passage for understanding the use of the word and its history; abridgement to highlight the significant semantic and syntactic elements.

Click here to see examples for determining excerpts for the verb recalcitro, -are.

The Final Product

Click here to see the final draft.