ABSTRACT

As Kahane and Kahane observe: ‘The lexicon with its many facets is a mirror of its time, a document to be understood in sociolinguistic terms’.1 In this chapter, ZHSURSRVHDGLVFRXUVHDQDO\VLVRIGLFWLRQDULHVDVWH[WVSURGXFHGE\DQLGHQWLƩDEOH authority or institution, addressed to a certain public, at a given time and with a VSHFLƩFJRDOLQPLQG We have chosen four of the most recent and authoritative dictionaries of Modern *UHHNHDFKLOOXVWUDWLQJDGLƨHUHQWDSSURDFKWRWKHOH[LFRJUDSKLFDOGHVFULSWLRQRI the language: the Greek Dictionary by Tegopoulos-Fytrakis publishers (̈ΏΏ΋Α΍Ύϱȱ ̎ΉΒ΍Ύϱ), the Modern Greek Dictionary of the Contemporary Demotic Language, Written and Spoken by E. Kriaras (̐νΓȱ ̈ΏΏ΋Α΍Ύϱȱ ̎ΉΒ΍Ύϱȱ Θ΋Ζȱ ̕Ͼ·ΛΕΓΑ΋Ζȱ ̇΋ΐΓΘ΍ΎφΖȱ̆ΏЏΗΗ΅Ζǰȱ̆Ε΅ΔΘφΖȱΎ΅΍ȱ̓ΕΓΚΓΕ΍ΎφΖ), the Dictionary of the Modern Greek Language by G. Babiniotis (̎ΉΒ΍Ύϱȱ Θ΋Ζȱ ̐ν΅Ζȱ ̈ΏΏ΋Α΍ΎφΖȱ ̆ΏЏΗΗ΅Ζ), and the Dictionary of Common Modern Greek by the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki’s Triandaphyllidis Institute of Modern Greek Studies (̎ΉΒ΍ΎϱȱΘ΋Ζȱ ̍Γ΍ΑφΖȱ̐ΉΓΉΏΏ΋Α΍ΎφΖǼ.2'HVSLWHWKHLUGLƨHUHQFHVDOOIRXUGLFWLRQDULHVFRQVLGHUHG together lay the foundations for a proper lexicographical treatment of the Greek language. We do not intend to evaluate the four dictionaries on the basis of technical aspects of lexicography, even though a good deal has been said about this.3 Modern Greek lexicography has only begun to develop in the last decade, and there are, as

yet, no full-scale institutes for the publishing of dictionaries. Accordingly, it is too early to judge the dictionaries published so far on strictly lexicographical criteria. Despite their claims to the contrary, current lexicographical treatments of Modern *UHHN FDQQRW EH FRQVLGHUHG WR EH FRPPLWWHG ZKROO\ WR WKH VWULFWO\ VFLHQWLƩF lexicographical principles that dictionaries of French, English, German, Italian or Dutch have been following for decades. Our aim is not to review the dictionaries in question, something that has already been done on various occasions in academic journals, at conferences and in the press.4 We do not aspire to illustrate the extent to ZKLFKHDFKGLFWLRQDU\LQƪXHQFHVODQJXDJHXVHRUWRDVVHVVLWVLPSDFWRQODQJXDJH FKDQJHHLWKHU2XUFODLPLVWKDWZHFDQGHPRQVWUDWHWKHSURƩOHRIHDFKGLFWLRQDU\ and uncover the lexicographer’s aspiration to contribute to the standardization of Greek by comparing the choices made with regard to the essential steps and decisions involved in the compilation and circulation of a dictionary. Whether their attempts will be successful or not is to be decided and evaluated by the public and by experts in due course. We look at a dictionary both as a cultural monument and as a commodity. As a cultural monument, a dictionary is the treasury of the language and enjoys a certain authority and prestige among the members of a linguistic community. As a commodity, a dictionary is an artefact produced and distributed within a linguistic community and circulated in a publishing market that serves a particular purpose.5 A compiler of a dictionary of a language such as Greek, which has a long written and spoken history, and which has undergone various phases of purist movements and has a recent past of diglossia,6 is likely to face problems and will have to make decisions regarding the inclusion, exclusion and overall representation of the vocabulary of the language. In this decision-making process, the lexicographer and the publisher must also take into consideration the public which they address, and WKHSDUWLFXODU SXUSRVH WKHLU GLFWLRQDU\ DLPV WR IXOƩO Ř HGXFDWLRQDO FRPPHUFLDO general, or other. :H VKDOO ƩUVW SODFH WKH IRXU GLFWLRQDULHV LQ WKHKLVWRULFDO DQG VRFLDO FRQWH[WV surrounding their publication and circulation, and then look in detail at their choices as regards the inclusion or exclusion of words and variants, the labels used, the etymological information given, and the spellings favoured. By comparing the choices that the lexicographers make and by relating them to the character of each dictionary, we propose a textual analysis of the respective dictionaries as discourses contributing to the ideology of standardization.7