Massimiliano Morini

“Proper vnto the tongue wherein we speakeµ: Robert Cawdrey’s Table Alphabeticall and the Archaizers

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When Robert Cawdrey printed the first edition of his highly successful Table Alphabeticall (1604), his main focus was on terms that were “hardµ and “borrowedµ, which he proposed to expound with the help of “plaine English wordsµ. While Cawdrey’s interests were mainly educational, it is possible to argue that his linguistic ideology was protectionist rather than expansive, in line with the positions of sixteenth-century purists and archaizers. In this article, Cawdrey’s paratextual apparatus and his lexical items are sifted for evidence of the lexicographer’s affinity with such key anti-neologizing figures as Thomas Wilson and John Cheke.


  • early modern lexicography
  • Robert Cawdrey
  • Edmund Coote
  • archaizers
  • John Cheke


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