dictionaries and encyclopedias

dictionaries and encyclopedias
   The 1990s have seen a huge increase in the creation and publication of reference works under the titles of dictionaries, encylopedic dictionaries and encyclopedias.
   Perhaps the greatest undertaking is the compilation by the Royal Academy of Language, with financial support from the Ministry of Culture and Education, of a database of all Spanish words, expected to reach 150 million by the end of 1997. 100 million of these will be those in use during the previous twenty-five years, forming CREA, the Corpus de Referencia del Español Actual (Reference Corpus of Contemporary Spanish). These are drawn from a wide variety of written materials and 15 percent from oral/ spoken Spanish. The other 50 million will be words no longer current, forming CORDE, the Corpus Diacrónico del Español (Historical Corpus of Spanish).
   The Academy is the ultimate authority for accepted usage and compiles a Diccionario de la lengua española (Dictionary of the Spanish Language). The twenty-first edition since the publication of a Diccionario de autaridades (Dictionary of Authorities) by the printing house of Francisco de Hierro in 1726, was published in 1992. In 1995 this edition was also produced in CD-ROM format, structured like the printed version with 83,014 entries, but also with an inverse dictionary and with facilities for conducting searches under a wide range of categories, such as grammatical function and dialectal usage. In 1996 an edition for secondary pupils appeared, the Diccionario Escolar de la Real Academia, and a CD-ROM version is planned. A new edition of the standard dictionary was planned for 1998.
   Also aimed principally at students of both secondary and university levels is the Diccionario esencial de la lengua española (Essential Dictionary of the Spanish Language) published by Santillana in 1991. Drawn from written materials such as official publications and textbooks and especially from the everyday language of the media, the entries include etymologies, examples of usage, current expressions and phrases, synonyms and antonyms, word families, loan words and numerous grammatical notes.
   After English, Spanish is the second most popular acquired language and the teaching of Spanish to foreign students has become big business in Spain, especially in Salamanca. In 1996 Santillana, as part of its agreed co-operation with the University of Salamanca in this field, published the Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española (the Salamanca Dictionary of Spanish). Concentrating on modern Spanish it includes such elements as grammatical aids, syntax notes, usages and acronyms.
   Examples of more specialized types of linguistic dictionary are the Vocabulario científico y técnico (A Vocabulary of Scientific and Technical Terms) produced by the Royal Academy of Science and published in 1996 by Espasa-Calpe, and a Diccionario etimológico indoeuropeo de la lengua española (Indo-European Etymological Dictionary of Spanish) written by E.A.Roberts and B.Pastor and published by Alianza, which traces the routes by which words have come into Spanish and the relationships between words of the same family. Dictionaries devoted to topics other than the Spanish language have also become very popular. During 1995 alone, for example, Espasa-Calpe published a dictionary of famous women and a dictionary of nature, Planeta published a series of single-authored Dictionaries de Autor (Author's Dictionaries), such as the Diccionario de Filosofía by Savater, the Diccionario de Historia by Valverde and the Diccionario de Política by Tecglen, Alianza published the Diccionario Oxford de la mente (Oxford Dictionary of the Mind) and Muchnik published a series of dictionaries dedicated to topics such as jazz, the Bible and cookery.
   The same year saw the completion of the first ever Diccionario Enciclopédico de la Música Española e Hispanoamericana (Encyclopedic Dictionary of Spanish and Latin American Music) in twentytwo volumes. It is an example of an increasingly popular hybrid of dictionary-type definitions and encyclopedia-type entries devoted either, as here, to a specific topic, or, as in the case of the tenvolume Diccionario Enciclopédico Santillana (The Santillana Encyclopedic Dictionary) published in 1991, to general knowledge. A shorter, twovolume example is the Diccionario Enciclopédico published by Espasa-Calpe in 1995.
   Encylopedias too come in various shapes and sizes, but generally fall into two types, containing information either on all branches of knowledge, or on one specific branch. The most famous example of the first category is the annually updated (since 1934) multi-volume Enciclopedia universal ilustrada europeo-americana (Universal Illustrated Euro-Amer-ican Encyclopedia), published by Espasa-Calpe, which is the Spanish equivalent of the Larousse (France), Treccani (Italy) and Brockhaus (Germany) encyclopedias. Two widely respected examples of the second are the Enciclopedia de la historia de España (Encyclopedia of Spanish History) (1988–93), edited by Miguel Artola, and arranged in seven volumes by theme, and the Enciclopedia del arte español del siglo XX (Encyclopedia of Spanish Art of the Twentieth Century) (1991–2), edited by Francisco Calvo Serraller and published by Mon-dadori. With the expansion of the publishing industry, the number of encyclopedias has expanded dramatically. In one year in Madrid alone (1995), fourteen encyclopedias were published, some of them Spanish versions of foreign works, such as the Women's Encyclopedia of Health and Emotional Healing, the Macmillan Illustrated Animal Encyclopedia, the Lan Times Encyclopedia of NetWorking, and a French encyclopedia of religious affairs, Le Fait religieux. Spanish-produced encyclopedias also ranged over a wide area, reflecting the diversification of reader demand. There were practical handbooks such as El cómo del porqué: guía práctica del saber cotidiano: enciclopedia visual (A Visual Encyclopedia of Every-day Knowledge), and reference works on specialized areas such as the Enciclopedia de ecología y medio ambiente: preservación de la naturaleza (Encyclopedia of Ecology and the Environment: The Conservation of Nature), the Enciclopedia de electrónica moderna: del átomo al microprocesador (Encyclopedia of Modern Electronics: From the Atom to the Microproces-sor), the Enciclopedia de las plantas medicinales (Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants), the three-volume Encyclopedia iberoamericana de psiquiatría (Ibero-American Encyclopedia of Psychiatry), and the Enciclopedia jurídica básica (Basic Encyclopedia of Law).
   EAMONN RODGERS

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

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