Linguistica Berolinensia
  • ISSN 0302-5160
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9781
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The present article demonstrates, with the example of the polyhistor Johann Heinrich Al­sted (1588–1638), that in the 17th century there already was systematic work done on language for special purposes. This kind of research was essentially oriented toward the lexicon and stood in close connection to comparative linguistics undertaken at the time. Methodologically it was closely bound up with the categories of lexicological analysis keeping in view semantic and etymological details of technical terms. At the same time, whenever required, the difference between technical language and common language was analyzed. Additionally, in the presentation of the technical lexicon contemporary techniques such as the doctrine of loci communes and pieces taken from Ramistic logic were employed. At the time, the transfer of Greco-Roman terminology to the various vernaculars did not yet play a major role in these activities. Instead, we must see these efforts in the identification and analysis of the technical lexicon as being part of the projects to construct a universal science.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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