The premiere dictionary of the Commonwealth Caribbean is undoubtedly Richard Allsopp's Dictionary of Caribbean English Usage (DCEU). The title itself demonstrates the ambition of the work. Through the word Caribbean, Allsopp proposes supranational coverage that encompasses all of the Commonwealth Caribbean, a bold step that similar regions such as the South Pacific have not yet attempted. The word English positions the work as decidedly focused on the official language of these islands and countries, even as Allsopp acknowledges and embraces the fact that the Creole languages for which the region is famous are inextricable from the standard language. The inclusion of Usage demonstrates a concern for normativity and guidance. This paper focuses on how Allsopp's views on prescription for his home region informed the creation of DCEU. It extends this focus to his wife and collaborator Jeannette Allsopp, whose multilingual supplement to DCEU formed the basis of her Caribbean Multilingual Dictionary of Flora, Fauna and Foods. That work extends much of the ideology of DCEU to the Greater Caribbean region, documenting the French, Spanish, and French Creole equivalents to English headwords. Together, the two dictionaries set Caribbean standards, both in terms of the norms of the language and in terms of the lexicography of future Caribbean dictionaries.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 171-200
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.