9 Pages

INTERLUDE: Working with dictionaries

You’ve already, in Exercise 4.30, line 3, seen the OE word lar, teaching or doctrine. Over the course of time, the vowel shape found in the root of this word undergoes phonological change: for our present-day word ‘lore’ we no longer say /lA:r/, but (BrE) /lO:/ or (AmE) /lO:r/. And again over the course of time, the word undergoes semantic change: although we can still recognise the range of meanings of the words as including ‘teaching, doctrine’, the present-day word ‘lore’ has acquired other, and possibly more central, meanings. For example, the New Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘lore’ as a mass noun meaning ‘a body of traditions and knowledge on a subject or held by a particular group, typically passed from person to person by word of mouth . . .’