The aim of this paper is to discuss one of the most controversial aspects of eighteenth-century English linguistic debate: the diversity between orthography and pronunciation, as well as the attempts to solve their disagreement. Some scholars thought fit to maintain the “antient Orthography” in order to make clear “the Origin and Etymology of Words”. Others suggested “to reduce Writing to the Pronunciation […] for the new Orthography is […] more commodious, natural, easy, short” but, probably, the best solution could be “a middle Course between the two Extremes, retrenching the Letters where they are absolutely useless”, (Cyclopaedia, ORTHOGRAPHY). These premises done, the starting point will be the anlysis of entries such as ORTHOGRAPHY, PRONUNCIATION, ALPHABET, LETTER, CONSONANT and VOWEL in the Cyclopaedia (1728) and the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1768-71) highlighting: • The metalanguage used to describe such topics and, hence, the awareness to need a specific tool for specif purposes (i.e. scientifical description of language); • The information possibly given about use, for both spelling and pronunciation, as well as the sources of what is said; • The role the compilers have in the debate, if they have any, and the point of view they express. This kind of analysis allows not only to expound the general terms of the dispute but also to make clear the internal structure of encyclopaedic entries, the way they organize their contents and the practical tools they offer for teaching “the just method of spelling or writing words” (Britannica, ORTHOGRAPHY), as well as “the Manner of articulating or sounding the Words of a Language represented to the Eye by Writing and Orthography” (Cyclopaedia, PRONUNCIATION).
|Titolo:||Spelling vs. pronunciation debate in eighteenth-century English encyclopaedias|
LONATI, ELISABETTA (Primo)
|Parole Chiave:||Pronunciation; Encyclopaedia; Eighteenth-Century|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore L-LIN/12 - Lingua e Traduzione - Lingua Inglese|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2005|
|Tipologia:||Book Part (author)|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||03 - Contributo in volume|