Dictionaries and ideology: The treatment of gays, lesbians and bisexuals in lexicographic works.

Dictionaries and ideology: The treatment of gays, lesbians and bisexuals in lexicographic works.

Show full item record

Title: Dictionaries and ideology: The treatment of gays, lesbians and bisexuals in lexicographic works.
Author: Ball, Matthew Bruce.
Abstract: This thesis examines ideological influence on lexicography. Since dictionaries can be viewed as a form of ideological commentary, what do they say about the different groups that society marginalizes either because of these groups' minority status or because of the norms and values of the majority? How do dictionaries reflect society's persistent prejudices and stereotypes? These questions prove to be important because language and words shape our thoughts and expression and dictionaries are viewed as the authority on their use. This research is of added interest because the dictionary is ostensibly scientific, objective and neutral and many users are not aware that the dictionary might mirror the values and prejudices of the dominant ideology of the society in which it is produced. First, the thesis examines the conceptual framework of the relationship between the dictionary and dominant ideology. Then, I analyze a variety of dictionaries (three English and three French unilingual and three bilingual English-French) and their treatment of 67 lexical items that refer to the lesbian, bisexual and gay communities based on this conceptual framework. The results of this research reveal (a) that the dictionary excludes many words that do not represent the dominant ideology, and (b) that for those words that are included, little information is provided and what is provided reveals sociocultural bias.
Date: 1998
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/4466

Files in this item

Files Size Format View
MQ36658.PDF 8.702Mb application/pdf View/Open

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show full item record


Contact information

Morisset Hall (map)
65 University Private
Ottawa ON Canada
K1N 6N5

Tel. 613-562-5800 (4563)
Fax 613-562-5195

ruor@uottawa.ca