Beyond Hobson-Jobson: Towards a New Lexicography for Indian English

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (not CDU)

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The intended purpose of this thesis is threefold: (i) to compile a detailed survey of previous lexicographical work on the vocabulary of Indian English; (ii) to critically evaluate previous lexicographical work on this topic, with reference to relevant lexicographical theory dealing with dictionaries of ‘new’ Englishes; and (iii) to suggest lexicographical approaches that avoid the deficiencies of previous lexicography on this variety of English. Indian English is undoubtedly a major variety of English. Accordingly, this thesis takes a world Englishes stance towards Indian English, viewing it as a valid and valuable variety of English in its own right. As such, Indian English is deserving of the type of lexicographical treatment that other major varieties have received. Comprehensive lexicographical descriptions of British and American English have long been in existence, while other Inner Circle varieties of English, such as Australian, Canadian, New Zealand, and South African English, have been exceedingly well documented lexicographically in recent years. However, at present, the pinnacle of Indian English lexicography is widely considered to be Yule and Burnell’s Hobson- Jobson, first published in 1886, and revised in 1903 by William Crooke. This item of colonial lexicography is now over a century out of date, yet, there is no modern equivalent to, or rival of, Hobson-Jobson. At the same time, despite the fact that there are numerous dictionaries and glossaries of Indian English in existence, ranging from the colonial era to present, there has been no detailed survey of the lexicography of Indian English. How the previous lexicography has treated Indian English, and how well it has treated Indian English, is wholly unknown at present. In order to fill this gap in knowledge, the present research intends to examine and evaluate the work of previous lexicographers in terms of its description of Indian English and hence this study might provide some insight into how Indian English may better be described lexicographically in the future.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • City University of Hong Kong
  • Bolton, Kingsley, Supervisor, External person
  • Chan, Alice, Supervisor, External person
Award date3 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


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