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Faculty of Humanities and Education

Department of Language, Linguistics and Literature


Lexicography is the study and making of dictionaries. Dictionaries are an important way to record, preserve and disseminate our culture. By engaging with our communities, recording their speech and their lives, we can save a snapshot of Caribbean languages for generations to come.

Learning to craft a definition is a surprisingly difficult task. You have to sift through many uses of the word, determine what its meanings are, and write a definition that is clear, accurate, precise, informative and brief.

But a definition is just one part of the word’s entry. There is also a pronunciation to show how it is said, example sentences to show its use, a part of speech, alternate spellings, and illustrations, all of which must be carefully determined and selected. This process must then be repeated across thousands of words in a dictionary, all with the same format.

Dictionary of Caribbean English UsageCave Hill is unique for its study of Caribbean Lexicography. Students learn about dictionaries for single languages (monolingual) and for two or more languages (bi/multilingual). They also develop valuable research and editing skills, as well as a familiarity with words from their own communities and groups across the Caribbean.
The unit responsible for such dictionaries is the Richard and Jeannette Allsopp Centre for Caribbean Lexicography. Learn more about them here.

Department of Language, Linguistics and Literature
Telephone: (246) 417-4402/4/5 Fax:(246) 424-0634 Email: