Edited By Rudolf Muhr and Dawn Marley
The vocabulary of non-dominant varieties of English in the Oxford English Dictionary
(Oxford University Press, United Kingdom) email@example.com
Abstract: This paper discusses the specific challenges to documenting the localized vocabularies of non-dominant varieties of English, especially in postcolonial contexts where English has been maintained as a second language alongside local vernaculars. It will focus on the lexicon of Philippine English and its representation in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), widely regarded as the most authoritative dictionary of the language. It concludes with a description of a targeted research programme aimed at improving the coverage of Philippine English in the OED and providing a standardized lexical reference for this fast-developing national variety of English.
Dictionary-making is a process conditioned by a number of factors, both linguistic and extra-linguistic. The conceptual and theoretical complexities underpinning any lexicographical endeavour are further complicated by cultural, ideological and political considerations, and the sometimes conflicting expectations of all those involved in creating, publishing, selling and using a dictionary.
In the case of non-dominant varieties of languages, the situation becomes even more fraught with difficulty. Indeed, a “dictionary of a non-dominant variety” almost seems to be a contradiction in terms, as one of the general features of such a variety is lack of documentation (Muhr, 2012). There is also the fact that for centuries, dictionaries have been one of the principal tools in the establishment of the linguistic “standard”, as they promote belief in the existence of a monolithic version of every language that consists of words with...
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