How did a single genre of text have the power to standardise the English language across time and region, rival the Bible in notions of authority, and challenge our understanding of objectivity, prescription, and description? Since the first monolingual dictionary appeared in 1604, the genre has sparked evolution, innovation, devotion, plagiarism, and controversy. This comprehensive volume presents an overview of essential issues pertaining to dictionary style and content and a fresh narrative of the development of English dictionaries throughout the centuries. Essays on the regional and global nature of English lexicography (dictionary making) explore its power in standardising varieties of English and defining nations seeking independence from the British Empire: from Canada to the Caribbean. Leading scholars and lexicographers historically contextualise an array of dictionaries and pose urgent theoretical and methodological questions relating to their role as tools of standardisation, prestige, power, education, literacy, and national identity.
Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication:
Series: Cambridge Companions to Literature
30 September 2020
Professional and scholarly
Introduction Sarah Ogilvie; Part I. Issues In English Lexicography: 2. How a Word Gets into an English Dictionary Kory Stamper; 3. Technology and English Dictionaries Michael Rundell, Milos Jakubicek and Vojtech Kovar; 4. Diachronic and Synchronic English Dictionaries Judy Pearsall; 5. Description and Prescription: The Roles of English Dictionaries Edward Finegan; 6. European Cross-Currents in English Lexicography Giovanni Iamartino; 7. English Slang Dictionaries Michael Adams; Part II. English Dictionaries throughout the Centuries: 8. A Dictionary Ecosystem: Four Centuries of English Lexicography John Considine; Seventeenth-Century English Dictionaries: Hard Words: 9. Cawdrey, Coote, and 'Hard Vsual English Wordes' Roderick W. McConchie; 10. Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century English Lexicography Rebecca Shapiro; Eighteenth-Century English Dictionaries: Prescriptivism and Completeness: 11. Recording the Most Proper and Significant Words Allen Reddick; 12. Samuel Johnson and the 'First English Dictionary' Jack Lynch; Nineteenth-Century English Dictionaries: Descriptivism: 13. The Making of American English Dictionaries Michael Adams; 14. The Oxford English Dictionary Sarah Ogilvie; Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Dictionaries: 15. The English Period Dictionaries Robert E. Lewis and Antonette diPaolo Healey; 16. English-as-a-Foreign-Language Lexicography Howard Jackson; 17. Electronic Dictionaries Orin Hargraves; 18. English Dictionaries and Corpus Linguistics Patrick Hanks; 19. Natural Language Processing in Lexicography C. Paul Cook; Part III. Dictionaries of English and Related Varieties: 20. Dictionaries of Canadian English Stefan Dollinger; 21. Australian Lexicography: Defining a Nation Pam Peters; 22. New Zealand's Lexicographic Legacy John Macalister; 23. Hobson Jobson and Dictionaries of Indian English Traci Nagle; 24. South African English Dictionaries: From Colonial to Post-Colonial Jill Wolvaardt; 25.Dictionaries of Caribbean English: Agents of Standardization Jeannette Allsopp; 26. Dictionary of American Regional English George Goebel; 27. The Scottish Dictionary Tradition Maggie Scott
Sarah Ogilvie is Senior Research Fellow in the Faculty of Linguistics, Philology, and Phonetics at the University of Oxford, where she is also Director of the Dictionary Lab, a research initiative applying digital tools and methods to the study of language and dictionaries. Author of Words of the World: A Global History of the Oxford English Dictionary (Cambridge, 2012), she has taught linguistics at Stanford University, California, the University of Cambridge, and the Australian National University, Canberra, where she was Director of the Australian National Dictionary Centre and Chief Editor of Oxford Dictionaries, Australia. She has also worked as an editor at the Oxford English Dictionary, and spent two years working on dictionaries at Lab126, Amazon's innovation lab in Silicon Valley.