Antidote 11 User Guide

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Historical Dictionary

The birth of the English language is generally situated around the mid-seventh century. The oldest literary documents written in Old English, the language of the Anglo-Saxons, are dated from this period. Descended from Proto-Germanic and greatly influenced by Old Norse, Norman French and Latin, English slowly but surely came into its own, frequently borrowing from its neighbours and invaders, such as for the words government (from Anglo-French and Classical Latin), want (from Old Norse), tobacco (from Spanish and Arabic) and camera (from Late Latin and Ancient Greek), in addition to creating its own words (work, night, hand…). The spelling and the current meaning of English words are the product of this long evolution. Antidote’s historical dictionary tries to summarize this process in an original way, shedding light in so doing on the richness of contemporary English.

The historical dictionary describes the etymology of most of the words in the dictionary; hundreds of the more remarkable entries also include detailed notes. It also showcases all the etymological relationships of each word. By cross-referencing our etymological data, we were able to display all the words derived from the same etymon in a simplified tree structure, which sometimes yields surprising connections, like discovering that the words shirt and skirt both derive from the same Proto-Germanic root. Antidote contains over 2 million etymological links, and they paint a detailed historical portrait of the English language.

The historical dictionary is supported by a special guide, tracing the evolution of English and describing the processes by which new words are created. Moreover, in the corrector, the Etymology filter in the Statistics prism allows you to trace first-hand the genealogy of your texts, language by language, word by word.