Linguistics

John Arnold reviews 'Furphies and Whizz-Bangs' by Amanda Laugesen

John Arnold
02 March 2015

The Great War produced its own idiom and slang. Many of the new words and phrases created during the long conflict, such as ‘tank’ and ‘barrage’, became part of standard English, although often with a different nuance of meaning.

The recording of Australian soldier slang was seen as important at the end of the war. It was recognised as being integral ... More

'Unsung hero of Australian lexicography' by Sarah Ogilvie

Sarah Ogilvie
23 May 2012

Historical dictionaries depend on quotations to exemplify how a word is used over time. An unsung hero of Australian lexicography, who contributed more than 100,000 quotations to the Australian National Dictionary (AND) and Oxford English Dictionary (OED) over a period of thirty years, died two years ago this month. Mr Chris ... More

'Landmines in lexicography' by Sarah Ogilvie

Sarah Ogilvie
23 April 2012

When the ALP conference voted to amend the party platform on same-sex marriage at the end of last year, there was a flurry of debate in magazines, newspapers, and online. The platform now states: ‘Labor will amend the Marriage Act to ensure equal access to marriage under statute for all adult couples irrespective of sex who have a mutual commitment to a shared life.’ For lexicographers, thi ... More

'Parasitic dictionaries and spam books' by Sarah Ogilvie

Sarah Ogilvie
21 March 2012

A few years ago, Peter Austin and David Nathan, two Australian linguists working at the School of African and Oriental Studies in London, discovered that their dictionary of Kamilaroi, an Aboriginal language of New South Wales, was for sale on Amazon. The only problem was that they had not put it there and it had someone else’s name on it. Philip M. Parker, having found their Kamilaroi/Ga ... More

'Citizen lexicography: Creating a ‘Word Zoo’ in Canberra' by Sarah Ogilvie

Sarah Ogilvie
27 February 2012

Every day for the past few months, the Sydney linguist Michael Walsh has been sitting in the Mitchell Library poring over old manuscripts. He is extracting old wordlists of Aboriginal languages from the library’s rich collection of early British settler diaries, missionary field notes, and unpublished historical documents for a project funded by the State Library of New South Wales and Rio Ti ... More

'‘A new garment throughout’: The future of dictionaries in the digital age' by Sarah Ogilvie

Sarah Ogilvie
21 January 2012
We are on the verge of another revolution in dictionary-making. Since the seventeenth century there have been three major revolutions in lexicographic practice. In 1604 Robert Cawdrey produced the first monolingual English dictionary, which was – radically – arranged alphabetically. In the middle of the eighteenth century, Samuel Johnson employed literary citations to illus ... More

Barry J. Blake: Secret Language

Bruce Moore
14 April 2011

Ludic language

Bruce Moore

 

Secret Language
by Barry J. Blake
Oxford University Press, $24.95 hb, 339 pp, 9780199579280

 

The ‘secret language’ of the title of this book covers many kinds and levels of secrecy (things hidden and concealed), and a ... More