Article published in:Middle and Modern English Corpus Linguistics: A multi-dimensional approach
Edited by Manfred Markus, Yoko Iyeiri, Reinhard Heuberger and Emil Chamson
[Studies in Corpus Linguistics 50] 2012
► pp. 225–240
Etymology in the English Dialect Dictionary
This article discusses the treatment of etymology in Joseph Wright’s English Dialect Dictionary (EDD) (1898–1905), a topic about which the literature has offered virtually no information. The focus is, first, on the presentation and characteristics of etymological comments in the EDD, followed by questions of their reliability and usefulness, drawing in large part on comparisons with other sources, especially the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). Comparative analysis has shown a high degree of agreement, with limitations pertaining less to the information included in the EDD than to information not included. That is, EDD etymologies are often sparse and, more important, seldom reflect uncertainties. In sum, the investigation suggests that the EDD provides valuable impulses for the study of etymology in Late Modern English (LModE) dialect lexis, offering the potential to expand our understanding of the area enormously.
Published online: 11 April 2012