Golden Age Literature Glossary Online

¡Bienvenid@s a GALGO! Welcome to GALGO!

This digital platform offers readers of literary works from the 16th and 17th centuries an opportunity to unlock the meanings of select keywords and gain insight into the complex, idiosyncratic vocabulary of the Spanish Golden Age. GALGO is a searchable Spanish-English glossary that provides definitions and analysis of pivotal terms that reflect important linguistic and cultural concepts of the early modern period and whose lexical values often differ from those that apply today. The glossary’s definitions are taken, and translated into English, from the earliest extant dictionaries of the Spanish language: Sebastián de Covarrubias’ Tesoro de la lengua castellana o española (1611) and the Diccionario de autoridades (1726-39) published by the Real Academia Española.

An accessible analytical framework, based on M.A.K. Halliday’s social semiotic theory of language, exposes each usage of a keyword to be a reflection of the cultural environment, the social structure, and the linguistic system. GALGO’s multilayered design allows users to trace the different definitions of a word within a work and/or across all of the works in the database in order to capture the breadth of its semantic possibilities.

    Applying Halliday’s model, GALGO’s interpretive apparatus provides
  1. 1) the field of discourse or context of situation for the text in which a specific keyword appears. The field of discourse presents clusters, word groupings of semiotic affinity, that describe the social action that is taking place in the text;
  2. 2) the tenor of discourse, exposing sociological variables connected to class status, gender role, and racial category that refine a keyword’s meaning from the perspective of interpersonal relationships;
  3. 3) commentary on discursive structures, such as patterns of grammar, syntactic nuances, and figurative language, that surround the keyword in the text.