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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

An educator of many years’ experience, Jeannette Allsopp is now the retired Senior Research Fellow in Lexicography, former Director of the Centre for Caribbean Lexicography, English and Multilingual, which she founded in 2010, and Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus in Barbados. Jeannette Allsopp holds a BA Honours degree in Spanish with French, an MA in Romance Languages and a Diploma in Education from London University. She holds a PhD in Linguistics from London Metropolitan University and is a recipient of the EURALEX (European Association for Lexicography) Verbatim Award in lexicography (1991), as well as a Fulbright Research Fellow.

Jeannette Allsopp also served for years on the Executive Committee of the Society for Caribbean Linguistics and was Vice-President of the Society from 2008 to 2010 and President from 2010 – 2012. She is now the Immediate Past President of the Society and has attended and presented papers at several SCL conferences over the years. She is also the Consultant in Caribbean English to the Third Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. Her research interests include Caribbean lexicography, Creole linguistics, language acquisition, language teaching methodology, and Caribbean literature in English, French and Spanish. She has published in all these fields and has about 65 publications to her credit. These include the French-Spanish Supplement to the Dictionary of Caribbean English Usage by Richard Allsopp and the first Caribbean Multilingual Dictionary of Flora, Fauna and Foods, published in April 2003 by Arawak Publications Jamaica as well as many articles on linguistics, lexicography and education published in learned academic journals. Her latest publication is Language Education in the Caribbean: Selected Articles of Dennis Craig (2014) which she edited with Professor Zellynne Jennings of UWI - Mona, published by the University of the West Indies Press.

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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