A brief historical overview of pronunciations of English in dictionaries

  • Jack Windsor Lewis University of Leeds (retired)
  • Inger Margrethe Mees Copenhagen Business School
Keywords: pronunciation lexicography, pronunciations of British English, phonetic notation, International Phonetic Alphabet, history of pronunciation dictionaries


The evolution of pronunciations in mainly British English dictionaries is traced from their beginnings, with accounts of certain neglected figures in the field. In the paper we discuss how representations of pronunciations have developed from being indicated by means of conventional spelling with the addition of marks and numbers to more sophisticated systems of phonetic notation. A significant feature of the twenty-first century is the addition of spoken pronunciations of the items.


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How to Cite
Windsor Lewis, J., & Mees, I. M. (2017). A brief historical overview of pronunciations of English in dictionaries. Linguistica, 57(1), 343-356. https://doi.org/10.4312/linguistica.57.1.343-356