Towards improved coverage of Southeast Asian Englishes in the 'Oxford English Dictionary'
Keywords:Oxford English Dictionary, Southeast Asian Englishes, World Englishes
This paper examines the lexicon of Southeast Asian varieties of English and its representation in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). It begins by describing the OED’s changing editorial policies with regard to words originating from outside of Britain. It then focusses on Southeast Asian words included in the OED’s third and latest edition, and on recent efforts to improve the OED’s handling of this type of vocabulary. The paper concludes with a discussion of the key issues that need to be addressed to ensure adequate treatment of Southeast Asian and other World Englishes in the OED: overcoming the shortage of written resources through targeted and collaborative research programmes, providing better regional labelling through the comparative study of the lexis of national and regional varieties, and
diversifying the OED’s coverage of Southeast Asian Englishes by including words and meanings of more current usage, as well as lexical innovations beyond simple borrowing.
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