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ENGLISH DIALECT SOCIETY

ENGLISH DIALECT SOCIETY. A society for the study of DIALECT IN ENGLAND, formed in 1873 and dissolved in 1896. Its founder was Walter W. Skeat, Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Cambridge, who became its secretary and then its director. It published 80 works, mostly glossaries and grammars, and collected material for a dialect dictionary to complement the pronunciation work of A. J. Ellis. In 1886, Skeat launched a fund for such a dictionary, contributing a great deal of money himself to the project. In 1889, Joseph Wright began to edit the first collection for this work and appealed through newspapers and libraries for additional data. Over 600 people read material and collected and checked information. Helped by subscriptions, donations, and accommodation provided by Oxford University Press, Wright began in 1898 to publish in parts what became the English Dialect Dictionary. When the Society's aims had been achieved, it was dissolved. See AMERICAN DIALECT SOCIETY.

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