Leibniz as lexicographer?

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The interests of Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (1646–1716) in lan­guage have been studied in a classic monograph, Leibniz als Sprachforscher by Sigrid von der Schulen­burg (1885–1943), and in a number of subsequent works (see Dutz 1983, and for some later material, Müller & Heinekamp 1996:26–29). One subset of Leibniz’s linguis­tic thought, his study of dictionaries and furtherance of dictionary projects, was sketched in a recent paper of mine (Considine 2008b). The present paper discusses a remarkable and little-known dictionary project with which he has been closely associated. Papers for the project are preserved in MS IV, 471 of the Gottfried Wil­helm Leibniz Bibliothek in Hannover: this is the unpub­lished four-volume collec­tion of materials for an historical and etymological dictionary of Germanto which Schulenburg refers as Leibniz’s Lexicon etymologicum.


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