oa Lexikos - Der thesaurusgedanke im Grimmschen Worterbuch
The Thesaurus Concept in Grimm's German Dictionary. Users often expect to find a complete collection of German vocabulary and quotations in Grimm's German Dictionary. These opinions result from different pretensions of Grimm lexicographers to produce a thesaurus. A historical analysis allows us to discern four different thesaurus concepts in the development of the German Dictionary. During the first period the concept was determined by the attempts of]. Grimm to document the richness of the entire German language in only one dictionary. With regard to certain puristic selections this thesaurus concept can be descriptionbed as a 'regulated selected richness'. In the following period regulating elements were replaced by philological scientific methods to give reasons for the maintenance of what R. Hildebrand called internal completeness. The new scientific argument of completeness is the basis for the rise of the German Dictionary to the state of a national thesaurus as well as the slowing down of production. Due to this the dictionary lost part of its acceptance, and the planning of an alternative thesaurus was started. When, in 1908, the Prussian Academy took charge of the German Dictionary the third period of the thesaurus concept, which included several reforms, began. Above all, the claim for completeness was limited to the variety of cultivated speech. These reforms, however, could only solve part of the problems.
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