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Joseph Wright’s ‘English Dialect Dictionary’ in electronic form: A critical discussion of selected lexicographic parameters and query options

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Chapter Summary

The digitised version of Joseph Wright’s English Dialect Dictionary (EDD, 1896–1905) promises to be a lexicographic milestone for English dialect terms and phrases of the 18th and 19th centuries. In a research project in the English Department at the University of Innsbruck, the c.5000 pages of the dictionary have been transferred into machine-readable text and parsed. Our aim is to produce an online version of the dictionary for research on the history of spoken and dialectal Late Modern English. The paper demonstrates the complexity of the entries in the EDD and focuses on the questions of dialect attribution and of the definition of words and phrases as two cases in point. Beyond that, we will provide a survey of the search interface and specifically discuss the implementation of the two issues of dialect area and definition.



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