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6 - Riding the Wave of Success

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 June 2019

Stefan Dollinger
Affiliation:
University of British Columbia, Vancouver
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Summary

The popularity of the Dictionary of Canadianisms happened as predicted in Canada's centennial year 1967, and, for a few years following, Gage Ltd's investment in the historical dictionary produced returns. However, rather than the promised revisions of the Dictionary of Canadianisms, a cheaper abridged version was produced in 1973, which ultimately failed to garner significant uptake. Other editions were either not produced or priced with discounts not large enough. Changes in focus in the wider field of linguistics, combined with the high price of the dictionary, combined to let the dictionary fall into relative oblivion just a decade after its much-celebrated publication. Douglas Leechman, one of the key contributors to the 1967 edition, moved on in 1968 to become the perhaps most important Canadian consultant for Robert Burchfield's Supplements to the Oxford English Dictionary, so he was unavailable for revising the Dictionary of Canadianisms. The Chomskyan and Labovian schools coming to the fore, the latter with its renewed focus on spoken non-standard language, helps explain the relatively sudden lack of attraction for academic linguists in the Canadian English dictionary work.

Type
Chapter
Information
Creating Canadian English
The Professor, the Mountaineer, and a National Variety of English
, pp. 142 - 161
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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