In general, we annotate lexical items that represent usages that are uncommon or obsolete today, or that do not form part of general Spanish, such as local or technical terminology.
The basic format we use for lexical notes is:
accidente ‘enfermedad’ (Aut.)
The XML for this note is as follows:
<note type=”editorial”><mentioned>accidente</mentioned> ‘enfermedad’ (<title level=”m”>Aut.</title>).</note>
The single quotation marks designate that the contained word or words comprise a definition (not a quotation).
At times, it is useful to actually quote from historical dictionaries, in which case we use double quotation marks, and, in general, do not modernize.
We use the abbreviation s.v. (sub voce) to indicate the dictionary entry under which we have found information, in cases where that may not be obvious. For example:
cosario, ‘pirata’ (Aut., s.v. cossario)
The best resource for researching word usage in the past is the Nuevo tesoro lexicográfico de la lengua española (NTLLE). On that page, click on Acceso a la consulta del «NTLLE», and then on the magnifying glass icon to enter a search term. Your results will be listed on the left. In most cases, there will be an entry corresponding to “Academia autoridades,” which is the first edition of the dictionary (known as Autoridades, published 1726–1739) of the Real Academia Española. Subsequent editions of that dictionary are listed in NTLLE as “Academia usual”, although we generally refer to this dictionary, in all of its editions except the first, as the DRAE (Diccionario de la Real Academia Española). NTTLE also includes other dictionaries that may be useful in certain situations, such as when a word does not appear in Aut. or any other version of the DRAE.
For texts that were written up through the third quarter of the eighteenth century, Autoridades is generally the version to which you should refer. For texts written in the fourth quarter of the eighteenth century or later, it may be preferable to refer to the edition of the DRAE that is closest chronologically. Sometimes a word does not appear in Autoridades, and the first documented instance will be in a later version.
The following is a more complete list of resources, organized by the abbreviations we generally use to designate these items in notes.
Aut.: Real Academia Española, Diccionario de la lengua castellana (Autoridades”), 1726–1739. Available in Nuevo tesoro lexicográfico de la lengua española (NTLLE)
DA: Real Academia Española, Diccionario de americanismos, 2010. Can be accessed on the main page of the RAE website. Use the dropdown menu next to the search box.
DE: Diccionario enciclopédico de la lengua española. 2 vols. Madrid: Librería e Imprenta de Gaspar y Roig, 1872. Available in Nuevo tesoro lexicográfico de la lengua española (NTLLE)
DEDLLC: Zerolo, Elías. Diccionario enciclopédico de la lengua castellana. 2 vols. París: Garnier Hermanos, 1895. Available in Nuevo tesoro lexicográfico de la lengua española (NTLLE)
DEJ: Real Academia Española, Diccionario del español jurídico, 2016. Can be accessed on the main page of the RAE website. Use the dropdown menu next to the search box.
DRAE: Real Academia Española, Diccionario de la lengua española, 23nd edition, 2014. Can be accessed on the main page of the RAE website. The search box searches the current version of the DRAE by default.