Histoire des sciences et des techniques, histoire des dictionnaires: quelques réflexions

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The present study wishes to illustrate the types of scientific and technical dictionaries produced in France over the centuries. The description of some scientific and technical dictionaries/glossaries affords an understanding of their diversity, which culminates in Diderot and D’Alembert’s Encyclopédie. The relationships between specialist knowledge and lexicographical description are illustrated through the dictionaries and glossaries, which are the repository of many applied sciences and technologies (e.g. Medieval Lapidaries, veritable sources of specialist nomenclatures; the glossary at the end of Bernard Palissy’s 1580 Treatises; scientific and technical dictionaries compiled by Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-century intellectuals, for example, Thomas Corneille’s important collection of terms, compiled in 1694, and Henry-Gabriel Duchesne’s 1776 Dictionnaire de L’industrie). This historical approach evidences two different modes of term collection: on the one hand, term collections were elaborated on the basis of specialist treatises and works; on the other hand, scientific and technical dictionaries were built on the basis of oral and written data, in order to fix the definition of concepts in the subject field at hand. This study wishes to demonstrate that every specialist lexicographical work, involving distinctive choices in terms of macro- and microstructure, is born and developed on the basis of precise specialist communication needs.
Titolo tradotto del contributo[Autom. eng. transl.] History of science and technology, history of dictionaries: some reflections
Lingua originaleFrench
pagine (da-a)37-52
Numero di pagine16
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2010


  • dictionnaire technique
  • lexique spécialisé
  • terminologie


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