Important acquisitions

New spelling, pronouncing, and explanatory dictionary of the English language

Author Scott, William
Title New spelling, pronouncing, and explanatory dictionary of the English language
Imprint Edinburgh: C. Elliot
Date of Publication 1786
Language English
Notes This is a pocket dictionary in oblong format published during the heyday of the Age of Augustanism in Scotland with its demand for propriety and its emphasis on southern English models of speech. It consists of an introductory essay on English pronunciation, elocution and grammar, the dictionary proper, and an appendix. The author points out in his preface that although he is a native of Scotland, it is not presumptuous of him to represent the proper English pronunciation: as a young man, Scott lived in London for many years, instructing "the young gentlemen of the academy the proper reading and reciting of the English language". The dictionary is particularly interesting because it goes beyond the usual explanation of the meaning of the words. It shows the accented vowels and consonants, thus indicating where the wordstress falls. The pronunciation of every vowel sound in a word is indicated by a number, which refers to one of the 15 vowel sounds Scott distinguishes. Other dictionaries are "extremely deficient" with regard to the indication of the proper pronunciation. Scott's work is therefore important for "provincials and foreigners", in other words anybody outside the Home counties. The Dictionary was first published in 1777, but no copy of this edition is known. This 1786 copy is the only one held in the UK.
Shelfmark ABS.1.204.031
Reference Sources ESTC; bookseller's catalogue
Acquired on 01/04/04
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