Looking for regional words in late seventeenth-century England: Bishop White Kennett and his ignored glossary to Parochial Antiquities (1695)


  • Javier Ruano-García Universidad de Salamanca


regional vocabulary, Early Modern English, dialects, Bishop White Kennett, lexicography, lexicology


The analysis of regional dialects in the Early Modern period has commonly been disregarded in favour of an ample scholarly interest in the ‘authorised’ version of English which came to be eventually established as a standard. The history of regional ‘Englishes’ at this time still remains to a very great extent in oblivion, owing mainly to an apparent dearth of direct textual evidence which might provide trustworthy data. Research in this field has been for the most part focused on phonological, orthographical and morphological traits by virtue of the rather more abundant information that dialect testimonies yield about them. Regional lexical diversity has, on the contrary, deserved no special attention as uncertainty arises with regard to what was provincially restricted and what was not. This paper endeavours to offer additional data to the gloomy lexical setting of Early Modern regional English. It is our aim to give a descriptive account of the dialect words collated by Bishop White Kennett’s glossary to Parochial Antiquities (1695). This underutilised specimen does actually widen the information furnished by other...


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