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Description - Ethnocentrism and the English Dictionary by Phil Benson

As dictionary users, we tend to think of dictionaries as objective records of our language and as more or less natural artefacts of our linguistic life. Ethnocentrism and the English Dictionary challenges these assumptions by showing how English lexicography has evolved historically as a form of social and discursive practice through which the English dictionary is a key aspect of the social and political history of the English language. A theoretical, historical and empirical analysis shows how dictionaries have come to represent the English language in the world as a structure in which a linguistic and cultural periphery is known and described from the perspective of a centre corresponding to the place in which the dictionary is produced. Since most dictionaries of English are published in Britain or the USA, this has lead to an ethnocentric representation of the language, in which knowledge is filtered through Anglo-American perspectives on English in the world. The book covers three main areas. Part one deals mainly with theories of the dictionary and their relationship to theories of language. Part two presents a historical treatment of the evolution of English lexicography from its origins in the 17th century to the present day, focusing on the lexicographical treatment of the language in its relations to the world. Part three presents an empirical study of the most recent edition of the Oxford English Dictionary and its treatment of China (one of the most frequently mentioned countries in the dictionary) as a case study of ethnocentrism in action.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780415220743
ISBN-10: 0415220742
Format: Hardback
(234mm x 156mm x mm)
Pages: 240
Imprint: Routledge
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 11-Jan-2001
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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