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Welcome to EuroHiT (European Historical Thesaurus), a Eurolinguistic project!

A thesaurus is book that doesn’t list words and their definitions, but lists the words for a given definition. It lists designations. In other words: this is an onomasiological project. Onomasiology deals with the question “What are the names for a thing/concept/object X?”, e.g. Question: “What are the names of entrance floor of a house in English standard dialects?” - Answer: “First floor in the US, ground floor in the UK, ...”.

Goal of the Project[edit | edit source]

In this project we want to find out how certain things are called in different periods of the European languages. We want to find out how and why expressions changed. We want to compare the various European languages with one another and see where there are similarities.

NOTE: There is already a number of studies whose data we will first have to enter here (if you'd like to contribute systematically and enter the data from a specific book, contact the coordinator). In a second step we shall see where data and information are missing.

If you click on the Category link at the bottom you will get a list of items that have so far been accepted for the Project.

When the project is in an advanced stage, we plan to compose printed dictionaries for a general audience.

Article Structure[edit | edit source]

Each article is structured the following way:

  1. the entry word which expresses the concept/idea/object, always supplemented by “(EuroHiT)”, e.g. “father (EuroHiT)”
  2. a longer definition of the concept/idea/object so that everyone knows what exactly the expressions given in this article stand for
  3. tables for various European languages that first show a word-type (in its different variants—e.g. Mom and Mum belong to the same word-type, Mom and Mother to different word-types), its temporal, geographical and social distribution, its origin (etymology), and the bibliographical sources (frequent sources can be abbreviated—a list of the abbreviations and the full bibliographical data is given below)
  4. a section for explanations of the various changes (where sources should be indicated as well)
  5. a section for other annotations
  6. information on other languages
  7. list of related concepts, e.g. “Cf. mother, brother, sister” under "father".
  8. a list of relevant categories

(Here is a sample for new articles).

Guidelines[edit | edit source]

  • Add new lines to the tables if you need to.
  • If you would like to add information on another European language feel free to do so.
  • If you like to extract an onomasiological source systematically, please tell the Project coordinator that you would like to do so.

Remember our general guidelines:

  1. ELiX Wiki permits multilingualism. For reasons of communication, though, the languages that you should use in this Wiki are the five most wide-spread languages in Europe: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian.
  2. We would appreciate if you registered, although this is not an absolute reguirement. Feel free to start a User page which allows others to see who you are and where you are an expert in.
  3. Only add information to existing articles, don’t start new articles (except for the Project EuroLex). All articles have been deliberately chosen for the single projects. If you feel that an article should be added please write an e-mail to the main coordinator first (
  4. When you add information, please indicate your sources (if the information is your own personal observation indicate this by writing “PO”).
  5. If you doubt the correctness of data, please discuss this on the corresponding Talk page first before you make any changes.
  6. When you discuss something on the Talk page, always be friendly and be aware that different users have different expertise in different things.
  7. Sign your contributions on the Talk page, but don’t sign the ones on the Article pages.
  8. Try to formulate your comments as simply as possible that people with other mother tongues have a bigger chance to follow as well.
  9. Use jargon if you must, but explain it, if possible.
  10. Try to stick to the layout suggested—this will later facilitate working your information into books.

Frequent Sources[edit | edit source]

If you are looking for studies on a specific concept or for etymological and onomasiological dictionaries and linguistic atlasses in general, check the bibliographies of Onomasiology Online (OnOn).

Frequent abbreviated dictionaries used in this project:

  • Barnhart = Barnhart, Robert K. (1995), The Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology, New York: Harper Collins.
  • Buck = Buck, Carl Darling (1949), A Dictionary of Selected Synonyms in the Principal Indo-European Languages, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Knoop = Knoop, Ulrich (2001), Wörterbuch deutscher Dialekte: Eine Sammlung von Mundartwörtern aus zehn Dialektgebieten im Einzelvergleich in Sprichwörtern und Redewendungen, Köln: Parkland.
  • MED = Kurath, Hans et al. (1956-), Middle English Dictionary, Ann Arbor (Michigan): University of Michigan Press. Cf. also MED website
  • OED = Murray, James A. H. et al. (1928-), Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Cf. also OED website
  • SED = Orton, Harold / Dieth, Eugen (1964-1971), Survey of English Dialects, Leeds: Arnold.