The project “Deutsches Rechtswörterbuch” compiles a dictionary of the west Germanic legal language. The dictionary covers a period ranging from the beginning of the written tradition until 1800. It is based on an archive of 2.5 million references. Each volume consists of 5 double-issued booklets with 320 columns each. Every year one double-issued booklet is published. Besides stating specific termini of the legal language like e.g. lawyer (Anwalt), rent (Miete), or paraphernalia (Paraphernalgut), the “Rechtswörterbuch” also elaborately describes the daily routine of legal life and the legal system by explaining how the daily routine is reflected in words like e.g. acre (Acker), dike structures (Deichbank), diagnostic findings (Gichtzettel), kiss (Kuss), milking (melken), neighbourhood (Nachbarschaft), or careful (pfleglich)- thereby also pointing out the specific legal overtones of common words. The project was started in 1897 at the Prussian Academy of Sciences and is curated by the Academy of Sciences in Heidelberg since 1959.
Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities
Sebastian Zwies M.A.
Union der deutschen Akademien der Wissenschaften
Tel: 06131/218 528-17
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