Article published in:New Approaches to the Study of Later Modern English
[Historiographia Linguistica 33:1/2] 2006
► pp. 139–168
William Perry’s The Royal Standard English Dictionary (1775)
A provincial’s attempt to ascertain and fix a standard to the pronunciation of the English tongue
This paper examines the role of William Perry (1747–post 1805), an active Scottish schoolteacher and lexicographer, in the prescription of norms for a ‘correct’ pronunciation of standard English, being perfectly in line with the language guardians of the time. Although Perry shares a few characteristics with Thomas Sheridan (1719–1788) and James Buchanan (fl. 1753–1773), as he himself maintains in the Preface to his The Royal Standard English Dictionary, first published in Edinburgh in 1775, he also reveals a certain dissatisfaction with the way ‘the sounds of words are expressed’ by the other two 18th-century scholars. Therefore, the paper examines the ‘more rational method’ proposed in his attempt to better represent the sounds of the English language.
Published online: 17 July 2006
Cited by 1 other publications
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