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Involuntary AssociationsPostcolonial Studies and World Englishes$
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David Huddart

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781781380253

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781380253.001.0001

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Declarations of Linguistic Independence: The Postcolonial Dictionary

Declarations of Linguistic Independence: The Postcolonial Dictionary

(p.75) Chapter 4 Declarations of Linguistic Independence: The Postcolonial Dictionary
Involuntary Associations

David Huddart

Liverpool University Press

This chapter considers the codifying role of the postcolonial dictionary. Such dictionaries, such as the Macquarie Dictionary, have been understood as declarations of linguistic independence. This chapter argues that the Macquarie Dictionary intervenes as a both a description and declaration of independence, working through what Jacques Derrida, writing on the American colonies’ declaration of independence, calls a fabulous retroactivity. On the one hand, these independent Englishes already existed, and on the other they required the dictionary itself to make them happen: these Englishes both already were and yet also ought to be. The chapter explores the interesting implications of such a structure in our understanding of World Englishes.

Keywords:   Codification, Dictionary, Performativity, Jacques Derrida, Macquarie Dictionary

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