Rottet (2014a)

De Arbres
  • Rottet, Kevin. 2014. 'Neology, Competing Authenticities, and the Lexicography of Regional Languages: The Case of Breton', Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America 35, 208-247.


 Abstract:
 "Lexicographic practices when dealing with minoritized regional languages demonstrably differ in certain key respects from such practices with "big" languages like English or French. Prominent among such differences is the treatment of onomasiological gaps, common in small languages of limited currency, including the handling of neologisms and deliberate coinages. Here we propose a case study of Breton, the regional Celtic language of northwestern France, whose sociolinguistic history has divided intellectuals into two camps with competing visions of authenticity: a traditionalist camp focused on the dialectal speech of older, rural native speakers who have long filled lexical gaps by resorting to borrowing from French; and a modernist camp of younger urban, well educated "Neo-Breton" speakers, whose standardized Breton eschews French lexical influence, looking rather to the Celtic roots of Breton, and even the closely related language Welsh, to fill lexical gaps. In this case study we examine a selection of quasi-technical terms in a corpus of twentieth- and twenty-first-century bilingual Breton lexicography. The study examines the issue of terminological variation attested for such words, their lexicological profile and the extent to which their lexicographic handling reflects a position with respect to competing notions of authenticity."


 end of conclusion:
 "[...]
 With an average of nearly six translation equivalents per term, the kind of vocabulary explored here exhibits significant variation across the ten dictionaries of the corpus. But if there is a great deal of terminological variation for the words examined, for many words there is also a tendency towards a lexicographic consensus, as revealed, for instance, by some convergence between Menard (2012) and KAG (2011), the two most recent of the dictionaries: their nomenclatures often differ but they nonetheless converge in a significant number of cases. 
 A possible way forward appears in Favereau (1992, 2000) and Menard (2012), in which deliberate coinages based on Celtic roots are presented without a label, whereas terms that arose in popular milieux and those making use of Romance roots are sometimes construed as colloquial terms. It remains for future studies to determine whether maintaining different strata of vocabulary but assigning them to different registers is indeed how speakers of the language will pave the way into the future for the Breton language."