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Faculty of Humanities and Education

Department of Language, Linguistics and Literature

Allsopp Centre: Founders

The namesakes of this Centre were pioneers in their efforts toward regional lexicography. They had a vision of finding and establishing Caribbean norms, not to seek external validation from colonial powers, but to demonstrate that Caribbean words and culture could stand on their own among the rest of the world.

Dr. Jeannette Allsopp, Founder

Jeannette Allsopp is the retired Senior Research Fellow in Lexicography, founder and former Director of the Richard and Jeannette Allsopp Centre for Caribbean Lexicography and Lecturer in Linguistics at The UWI Cave Hill Campus in Barbados. She holds a PhD in Linguistics from London Metropolitan University. A recipient of the EURALEX Verbatim Award in Lexicography, as well as a Fulbright Research Fellow, she was President of the Society for Caribbean Linguistics (2010-2012). She is the Consultant in Caribbean languages, English, French, French Creole and Spanish to the Third Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary now in preparation by Oxford University Press. 

Jeannette Allsopp has also recently been elected to sit on the Board of the Dictionary Society of North America. She has 73 publications to her credit, including, the first and to date the only Caribbean Multilingual Dictionary of Flora, Fauna and Foods (2003), Language, Culture and Caribbean Identity, (University of the West Indies Press and the Richard and Jeannette Allsopp Centre for Caribbean Lexicography (2012) which she edited with Professor John R. Rickford of Stanford University, and Language Education in the Caribbean: Selected Articles by Dennis Craig published with Professor Zellynne Jennings of The UWI Mona Campus in 2014. Recent publications (2020) include ‘Dictionaries of Caribbean English: Agents of Standardization’ in the Cambridge Companion to English Dictionaries (Cambridge University Press) and a review of the English-Haitian Creole Bilingual Dictionary which appears in Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America, Volume 40, Issue 2 (2019). Her School Edition of the Dictionary of Caribbean English, co-edited with the late Dr. Wendy Griffith-Watson, has recently been published by the University of the West Indies Press 2022.

Her research interests include Caribbean lexicography, Creole linguistics, language acquisition, language teaching methodology, and Caribbean literature in English, French and Spanish. Her hobbies include reading, playing the piano, and attending plays and other cultural events.

Professor Richard Allsopp, Honoured Ancestor

Professor Richard Allsopp was retired Professor of Caribbean Lexicography and former Director of the Caribbean Lexicography Programme at The University of the West Indies. He was a pioneer Caribbean linguist/creolist and Caribbean lexicographer who produced the first MA thesis in Creole Studies in 1958, launched the Caribbean Lexicography Project in 1972 and became its first director and coordinator. Richard Allsopp’s pioneering Dictionary of Caribbean English Usage was published in 1996 followed by the Book of Afric-Caribbean Proverbs in 2004 and his final work, the New Register of Caribbean English Usage appeared posthumously in 2010, having been completed at the end of 2007. In addition to these works he also published 70 scholarly articles on Caribbean lexicography, creole linguistics and on English language teaching.

He was the first West Indian invited to serve on the editorial boards of the Oxford English Dictionary and the American Heritage Dictionary. He was also the first Vice-President of the Society for Caribbean Linguistics (1972 – 1974) and the second President of the Society from 1976 – 1978. In 1994 Richard Allsopp was made an Honorary Member of the Society. In 1958 he was awarded the Crane gold medal for the most outstanding contribution to education in Guyana. In 2003, The University of the West Indies honoured his work and his stellar contribution to the study of Caribbean language and culture by conferring on him the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters. In 2004, the Government of Barbados awarded him the country’s second highest national honour, Companion of Honour of Barbados, for his distinguished contribution to education. 

Department of Language, Linguistics and Literature
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