Women in the Dictionary of Danish Insular Dialects

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Women in the Dictionary of Danish Insular Dialects
In this presentation, I discuss the representation of female domains in the Dictionary of Danish Insular Dialects (DID; Ømålsordbogen ), an historical dictionary giving thorough descriptions of the dialects on the Danish isles 1750-1945. First volume appeared in 1992 but data collection and structure of the dictionary date back to the 1920s.
It has been pointed out that the language, thoughts and domains of women until recently have been strongly neglected in for instance literary studies and history – and that the representations have been characterised by stereotypical images. This point has also been made as regards dictionaries (Hageberg 1990, choice of vocabulary; Mattisson 2006, data and examples).
As for DID, however, female domains (‘food’, ‘clothes’, ‘milk’ etc.) are thoroughly registered in the collections and described in the dictionary. The structure of DID being highly inspired by the Wörter und Sachen tradition, stressing the importance of ethnological descriptions and cultural context, this seems natural – however, concurrent representations of female domains at the Danish National Museum remained stereotypical and incomplete (Jørgensen 2013).
I discuss possible explanations, for instance the fact that a female editor was working at DID from the beginning. But I also argue that more general factors play a role, for instance an established tradition within folklore research and dialectology focusing on collecting data “before it was too late” regardless of gender - the focus being the ideal linguistic informant with good memory, narrative skills and a broad linguistic repertoire (Christiansen 2013).
REFERENCES Christiansen, P.O. 2013: Tang Kristensen og tidlig feltforskning i Danmark. National etnografi og folklore 1850-1920 [Tang Kristensen and early fieldwork in Denmark. National ethnography and folklore 1850-1920]. Copenhagen: The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters.
Hageberg, A. 1990: Kvinner og men og ordbøker [Women and men and dictionaries]. In: Norsk Lingvistisk Tidsskrift 8: 48-67.
Jørgensen, L. 2013: Frilandsmuseets landbokvinder [The peasant women at the National Museum]. In: Landbohistorisk Tidsskrift 2013(1): 38-72.
Mattisson, A. 2006: Genusperspektiv på SAOB:s källor [A gender perspective on the sources to SAOB (Svenska Akademiens Ordbok , 1884- )]. In: LexicoNordica 13: 55-68.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date20 May 2014
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2014
EventInternational Conference of Historical Lexicography and Lexicology - Universidad de Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain
Duration: 9 Jul 201411 Jul 2014
Conference number: 7


ConferenceInternational Conference of Historical Lexicography and Lexicology
LocationUniversidad de Las Palmas, Gran Canaria
CityLas Palmas, Gran Canaria

ID: 124780394