The third edition of the Current Spanish Dictionary (DEA), reference work in the lexicography of Spanish that the academic Manuel Seco projected at the end of the sixties of the last century. This dictionary offers a systematic lexical inventoryas well as information on the grammatical functioning of each word with real examples of use.
This third edition registers the lexicon documented in Spain during the last 73 years (since 1950), more than eighty-three thousand slogans collected in a corpus of about three thousand books and five hundred periodicals.
The new edition includes 8,000 additional lemmas compared to the previous one
It is a version that modernizes and extends the previous one in more than 8,000 mottos and in which the user is offered several layers of consultation: a simple visualization, with the definition and main meanings of use of the lemma, typical of the usual dictionaries, and an advanced visualization, which provides information on grammatical functions of the different elements of the definition and the texts on which it is based.
A huge documentary base
“The Dictionary of Current Spanish (DEA) is the most important dictionary that has been published for three centuries,” he points out. Peter Alvarez of Miranda, letter Q in the Royal Spanish Academy. “This is the second time in history that a documented dictionary has been made, not with invented examples, but with true and real documentation of the use of words. It had not been done since 1739”, he adds.
The RAE academic highlights that the work “has enormous value and merit: due to the method, the breadth and the technical rigor, it is an admirable work, which, moreover, has grown remarkably since its first edition (whose lexicon covered up to 1993) to the current one, which includes terms from this same 2023”.
The digital support allows its constant updating and expansion, frees the work from the servitudes of paper
Álvarez de Miranda, letter Q in the RAE
With respect to the actuality of the voices collected, Álvarez de Miranda highlights a characteristic mark of the DEA: the slogans marked as “rare today” correspond to words that have almost fallen into disuse, but which were widely used in the second half of the 20th century; This is the case, to give a minimal example, of the word yes; It is more interesting, he considers, to collect it with that mark of less use than to eliminate it.
“It is an excellent novelty that this tool now appears in digital support: reference works, including dictionaries and encyclopedias, almost no longer make sense in printed format, since digital support allows their constant updating and expansionfrees the work from the servitudes of paper”, he concludes in his assessment of the work.
“Manuel Seco incorporated, both in the Historical Dictionary and in the DEA, a series of concepts and techniques from the french lexicography. He liked to distinguish between the theological lexicographer and the missionary lexicographer, that is, between lexicographical theory and praxis”, explains the expert.
“Publishing this third edition, on which he himself still worked, is the best tribute that can be paid to his memory; and a merit that corresponds, above all, to the admirable diligence and constant dedication of Olympia Andres“, recognize.
a living work
The lexicographer Olimpia Andrés is the director of the third edition of the DEA, as she already was of the second, and she has been in charge of the writing of the worktogether with Manuel Seco himself, since 1971. Gabino Ramos, the third of the authors, has been fundamental in the documentation on which definitions and examples are based.
You have to have your antenna on to perceive how the vocabulary flows in regular conversations
“This project was presented by Seco in 1969 with the idea of capturing the vocabulary of a generation and that the words were documented, but the ambition grew and it was thought that it was necessary to document not only the word, but all its meanings”, recalls Andrés.
“The dictionary is a continuous process. It’s in constant revision in view of new readings, which have not ceased since the first edition. In this third, the articles that appeared in the previous two are reviewed and some new ones are added, either because they have appeared at this time, or because appearances have been confirmed that we had documented, but not confirmedand therefore awaiting confirmation of use”, says the lexicographer.
In this third edition we present more than 83,000 mottos, which follow the compilation that began in the seventies: “Not only articles are renewed, but also meanings”, highlights the director of the publication. “The great cathedrals are also evolving: the verb ‘to put’ is not a novelty, but the use of ‘it puts me’ as ‘I like it’ is. You have to have the antenna on to perceive how the lexicon flows in regular conversations.
The transition from paper to digital support
The digital version is very important, according to Andrés: “In this dictionary two fundamental features stand out: grammar information and documentation. Regarding the first, the simple vision, comparable to that of other dictionaries. Advanced vision, on the other hand, allows you to see the grammatical function of each one of those elements of the definition and the texts that justify and endorse it”.
“Regarding the appointments, on paper the extension was necessarily limited and, therefore, under normal conditions we only gave one example per meaning. Now we can afford to offer more examples if it is considered desirable”, he highlights.
The lexicographer mentions the key work of Carlos Dominguez, “who has translated the entire dictionary into computer language.” Specifically, it has converted the paper dictionary to the XML language typical of digital publications, encapsulating all the information contained in the dictionary in marks that allow it to be managed.
In this third outing, Dominguez has also created a database of the entire dictionary. “Putting the DEA online now represents a fundamental advance for the work itself, it is to make it really accessible to users, since, otherwise, on paper, for example, it would be unfeasible in these times,” concludes the computer scientist.
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