The English Dialect Dictionary

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The English Dialect Dictionary (EDD) is a dictionary of English dialects, compiled by Joseph Wright (1855–1930).

Dictionary collection of words and their meanings

A dictionary, sometimes known as a wordbook, is a collection of words in one or more specific languages, often arranged alphabetically, which may include information on definitions, usage, etymologies, pronunciations, translation, etc. or a book of words in one language with their equivalents in another, sometimes known as a lexicon. It is a lexicographical reference that shows inter-relationships among the data.

The term dialect is used in two distinct ways to refer to two different types of linguistic phenomena:

Joseph Wright (linguist) British linguist

Joseph Wright FBA was an English philologist who rose from humble origins to become Professor of Comparative Philology at Oxford University.

Contents

Overview

The English Dialect Dictionary, being the complete vocabulary of all dialect words still in use, or known to have been in use during the last two hundred years; founded on the publications of the English Dialect Society and on a large amount of material never before printed was published by Oxford University Press in 6 volumes between 1898 and 1905. Its compilation and printing was funded privately by Joseph Wright, a self-taught philologist at the University of Oxford. Vol. 1: A-C; Vol. 2: D-G; Vol. 3: H-L; Vol. 4: M-Q; Vol. 5: R-S; Vol. 6: T-Z, supplement, bibliography and grammar. The content was issued progressively as 28 parts intended for binding into the six volumes with publication dates of 1898, 1900, 1902, 1903, 1904 & 1905. Vol. 6 includes an invaluable list of writings in dialect arranged by counties.

Oxford University Press Publishing arm of the University of Oxford

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Philology is the study of language in oral and written historical sources; it is the intersection of textual criticism, literary criticism, history, and linguistics. Philology is more commonly defined as the study of literary texts as well as oral and written records, the establishment of their authenticity and their original form, and the determination of their meaning. A person who pursues this kind of study is known as a philologist.

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The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's second-oldest university in continuous operation after the University of Bologna. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge where they established what became the University of Cambridge. The two 'ancient universities' are frequently jointly called 'Oxbridge'. The history and influence of the University of Oxford has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Due to the scale of the work, 70,000 entries, and the period in which the information was gathered, it is regarded as a standard work in the historical study of dialect. Wright marked annotations and corrections in a cut-up and rebound copy of the first edition; this copy is among Wright's papers in the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford. [1]

Bodleian Library main research library of the University of Oxford

The Bodleian Library is the main research library of the University of Oxford, and is one of the oldest libraries in Europe. With over 12 million items, it is the second-largest library in Britain after the British Library. Under the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 it is one of six legal deposit libraries for works published in the United Kingdom, and under Irish law it is entitled to request a copy of each book published in the Republic of Ireland. Known to Oxford scholars as "Bodley" or "the Bod", it operates principally as a reference library and, in general, documents may not be removed from the reading rooms.

A digitized version of the EDD has been made available by Innsbruck University, free of charge for non-institutional, non-profit purposes. A scanned version of the work made by University of Toronto Library is currently available through the Internet Archive.

University of Toronto university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The University of Toronto is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, located on the grounds that surround Queen's Park. It was founded by royal charter in 1827 as King's College, the first institution of higher learning in the colony of Upper Canada, and serves as the flagship campus of the three campuses of the University of Toronto. The other two satellite campuses are located in Scarborough (UTSC) and Mississauga (UTM). Originally controlled by the Church of England, the university assumed its present name in 1850 upon becoming a secular institution. As a collegiate university, it comprises eleven colleges each with substantial autonomy on financial and institutional affairs and significant differences in character and history.

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English Dialect Grammar

The sixth volume includes the English Dialect Grammar, which was also published separately. This included 16,000 dialectal forms across two main sections: 'Phonology', which gave a historical description of the development of sounds in dialect; and 'Accidence', which gave details on grammar and especially on morphology.

Among linguists, the Dialect Grammar has been criticised more than the Dialect Dictionary itself. Wright has been accused of borrowing material from the work of Alexander John Ellis that he had previously criticised. Peter Anderson claimed that Wright did Ellis a "disservice" by criticising the methods used in collecting data, but then using almost identical methods in English Dialect Grammar and taking on much of Ellis's data for his own work. [2] Both Peter Anderson and Graham Shorrocks have argued that Wright distorted Ellis's data by using a less precise phonetic notation and using vague geographical areas rather than the precise locations given by Ellis. [2] [3] Helga Koekeritz stated that Wright's information on the Suffolk dialect was almost entirely derived from Ellis, [4] and Warren Maguire has made similar comments about Wright's information on the north-east of England whilst also saying that the Grammar did introduce much new material. [5]

Alexander John Ellis English mathematician and philologist

Alexander John Ellis, was an English mathematician, philologist and early phonetician, who also influenced the field of musicology. He changed his name from his father's name Sharpe to his mother's maiden name Ellis in 1825, as a condition of receiving significant financial support from a relative on his mother's side. He is buried in Kensal Green Cemetery, London.

See also

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References

  1. Stevenson, Jane. "Features". Archiveshub.jisc.ac.uk. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  2. 1 2 Anderson, Peter M. 1977. "A New Light on Early English Pronunciation". Transactions of the Yorkshire Dialect Society part 77, vol. 14.32-41.
  3. A. J. ELLIS AS DIALECTOLOGIST: A REASSESSMENT, Historiographia Linguistica 18:2-3 (1991), page 324
  4. Helga Koekeritz, Phonology of the Suffolk Dialect, Uppsala, 1932, page vii as quoted in Peter Anderson (1977)
  5. Maguire, Warren (August 2003). ""Mr. A. J. Ellis – the pioneer of scientific phonetics in England" (Sweet 1877, vii): an examination of Ellis's data from the northeast of England" (PDF). University of Edinburgh. Retrieved 4 March 2017. I examined first the relatively accessible Wright (1905), but soon realised that most (perhaps all) of Wright's data for the north-east is derived from Ellis (1889).