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User guide

General organisation
  • This glossary consists of 351 entry terms defined in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. Whenever relevant, the following may be found in any of the six languages: variants, correlated terms, derived terms and a linguistic note, English technical note and/or a figure.
Entry terms
  • For a given concept, in each language, entry terms are those considered the most accurate and widely accepted. They are not necessarily terms recommended in everyday language or specialised dictionaries, but the ones which are the most relevant to tree-ring studies.
  • Entry terms are listed in their fully developed rather than abbridged form, except if the abbreviation is more frequently used than the full form, as in "PDB" and "SMOW". The spelling and usage rules are those used in Great Britain for the English key terms, France for the French, Switzerland for the German, Spain for Spanish and Brazil for the Portuguese.
Variants, synonyms, near-synonyms
  • Variants include all the other written or oral forms that we are aware of (oral forms are often neologisms that turn into authorized written forms).
  • The local variants for Austria [A], Germany [D], Québec [Qu], Switzerland [CH], American English [US], United Kingdom [UK], Commonwealth [Cw], Argentina [Ar] are mentioned whenever known.
  • Variants include obsolete (†) and deprecated (#) terms, near-synonyms (≈), i.e. terms with meanings almost equivalent or equivalent in some contexts only, and true synonyms (=), i.e. terms with equivalent meanings in whatever context (true synonyms are rare!).
Correlated terms
  • Correlated terms are terms semantically correlated to the entry term. They include cross-references referring to other entry terms, and secondary terms, most of which are mentioned or succintly defined within the immediate context of the entry term, i.e. in the definition itself or in the linguistic and technical notes.
  • For reasons of space and clarity, cross-references to entry terms are mentioned only once, in English. Secondary terms are mentioned in their original language where they were provided.
Linguistic notes
  • As already mentioned, the linguistic notes provide information on particular uses in a given language (as compared to English). They also gives information useful to translators, for example phraseological usage, troublesome use of prepositions, and any other non-technical information specific to a given language.
Technical notes
  • Information that goes beyond the scope of a definition but is still useful, especially to students, is given in a technical note, together with international symbols. Due to space restriction the technical notes appear in English only.
  • When selecting terms for inclusion, we have given priority to those specific to dendrochronology, and in particular to neologisms, including recent neologisms already used in the literature or in everyday laboratory practice and proposed neologisms coined for this glossary.
  • For each entry term, only the source of the original (usually the English) definition is cited, since the definitions in the other languages are in principle faithful translations.
    When no source is mentioned, the original definition was provided by one of the collaborators, or combined from several oral and/or written sources.
Equivalences between languages
  • Our primary objective was to provide consensual definitions. All definitions were first worded in English by synthesising information from all available sources. Our collaborators were then asked to translate each definition in their own language and to fit an appropriate key term, when it existed, or to propose a neologism if relevant, as well as variants, correlated and derived terms. Some adjustments had then to be made, since the translation process revealed inconsistencies or inexactitudes in the original English version.
Differences between languages
  • When different meanings were highlighted between languages, the general rule was to give a close translation of the English definition and a linguistic note to warn readers against the different uses. The justification for this approach is that most of the scientific literature is usually in English, and that non-native English readers or authors of articles in English may not be aware of differences with their own scientific culture.