4. Vocabulary

Furthermore, an inexperienced user may have no idea whether such a result is normal or extraordinary because he has no background information for a comparative assessment. This is why the Shakespeare Database integrates statistical survey information and possibilities to ask how individual data were derived and which sources were consulted. As Figure 2 shows, eagle-winged belongs to a group of 17% of Shakespeare's total vocabulary which is first attested in his work. The more recent lexicographical projects at the University of Michigan (MED, MEMEM) and Jürgen Schäfer's EMEL have contributed only about 1% antedatings. This may be taken as an argument for a relatively stable situation. Creativity in wordformation and successful integration of foreign loans always have to be seen in relation to the contemporary vocabulary as a whole.
Figure 2 Shakespeare's vocabulary and modern lexicographical sources. Almost 17% of his vocabulary is first attested in his works, another 11% are proper names, and foreign words (e.g. French words) in foreign language passages.

Shakespeare's vocabulary

Shakespeare's vocabulary
first attested in Shakespeare
proper names and foreign words
prior attested in the OED
also in the SOED, only
prior attestations in special sources (MED, MEMEM, EMEL)

Figure 3 gives a chronological distribution of Shakespeare' vocabulary. More than 60% of his vocabulary is of Old and Middle English origin. The rest belongs to the Early Modern English period. 21% belong to the more limited period between 1588 and 1613, the customary dating for Shakespeare's first and last plays, respectively. Background information of this type helps put the individual information on  eagle-winged  into perspective.
Figure 3 Chronological depth of Shakespeare's vocabulary

Shakespeare's vocabulary

 The information-structure in Figure 1 itself may lead to further questions. Users are more accustomed to alphabetical dictionaries than to word-family lexica. So there is normally little experience in judging the size of a morphological family. In Shakespeare's vocabulary there are quite large families, especially in the area of affix-formations. But every third morpheme occurs only in one lemma, and the large families are less than 1% of all morphological families. The {wing} family belongs to this small group.