7.0292 Shakespeare (1/127)

Sat, 13 Nov 1993 20:17:56 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 7, No. 0292. Saturday, 13 Nov 1993.

Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1993 13:02:11 EST
From: "Prof. Dr. H. Joachim Neuhaus" <neuhaus@VES102.UNI-MUENSTER.DE>

Dear Colleagues:

The following message may be of interest to HUMANIST. Of course, I will consider
editorial suggestions. SHAKSPER will publish the message first. I thought it may
have broader
appeal for our conference too.

H. J. Neuhaus
Univ.-Prof. Dr. H. J. Neuhaus
Westf. Wilhelms-Universitaet
Johannisstrasse 12-20
D-48143 Muenster, Germany

Internet Address:

Telephone: Telefax:
Germany (0)251 83 4294 83 8353

Subject: Shakespeare Database Project enters publication phase

The Shakespeare Database Project at the Westfaelische Wilhelms-Universitaet
Muenster, Germany
published its first book publication at the 1993 Frankfurt Book Fair.

Marvin Spevack (1993), A Shakespeare Thesaurus, Hildesheim, Zuerich, New York:
Georg Olms
Verlag. XXVI/541 pp. cloth ISBN 3-487-09775-3 DM 98.00; paperback ISBN
3-487-09776-1 DM 39.80

This new work is the first attempt to organize and classify the entire
vocabulary. It presents the "world" which is to be derived from Shakespeare's
ideolect and
gives a vivid impression of the surrounding Elizabethan world. The perspective
is thus not
solely personal or literary or linguistic but also historical, sociological, and

This classified inventory consists of 37 main groups and 897 subgroups, ranging
from the
Physical World to Sense Perception to Law to Religion to Time to Space. Special
attention is
given to such dominating interests as Communication and Motion, Solidarity and
Detailed are such things and words as horses and health, clothes and colours,
swords and
social structures, earth and education, gout and government, plants and pride.

To account for the entire vocabulary, certain groups not normally found in a
work of this
kind have been formed. The largest consists of the names of places and persons
arranged so as
to constitute a map and a pocket history, mythology, and onomasticon. Others
malaproprisms, oaths, Latin and French words.


The Shakespeare Database Project will publish further printed reference works
early in 1994.
For personal computer users there will also be a selfcontained Shakespeare
Database CD-ROM

Since 1990 the project has been using a dedicated VAXstation cluster as a
platform. The database uses Digital's rdb database software. The relational
database design
stresses the integration of editorial, linguistic, literary, and theatrical
information by
setting up 17 database *entities* with well over a hundred *attributes*. The
Entity, just published in book-form, is one of these. *Cardinality* values for
entities range from 2,500 to over one million records per entity. Statistical
and graphical
data are included in the database.

Besides standard query-languages such as SQL various custom-made access methods
are also
supported. There are traditional, philological entry points such as textual
collation and
editing with access to all copy-texts and variant readings. Electronic facsimile
pages of
early quarto and folio printings are accessible via play (act, scene, line,
speech prefix)
and word (lemma, wordform, morpheme) references. Linguistically oriented
such as wordformation down to the level of the morpheme, and inflection can be
directly. Shakespeare's vocabulary is also accessible by means of etymological
chronological query strategies, including information on first occurrence in
Early Modern

The CD-ROM version for personal computer users will first support Microsoft
Windows and will
include navigational support. It will not presuppose relational database
technicalities, such
as SQL, etc.

Shakespeare Database Project
Univ.-Prof. Dr. H. J. Neuhaus
Direktor des Englischen Seminars
Westfaelische Wilhelms-Universitaet
Johannisstrasse 12-20
D-48143 Muenster, Germany

Internet Address: <neuhaus@nwz.uni-muenster.de>

Telephone (voice & answering): +49 251 834294
(fax): +49 251 838353