This chapter traces the sequence of smaller and larger dictionaries published in Australia in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, drawing attention to the particular aspects of Australian language, society, culture, and environment that they document, and their association with the major phases in the evolution of Australian English. The earlier specialised dictionaries were compiled during the exonormative phases of Australian English, when Australians still deferred to British English as their main linguistic authority. In contrast, the comprehensive national dictionary (Macquarie Dictionary, 1981) benchmarks the endonormative phase, and becomes the reference point for Australian English as it achieves its linguistic independence. Meanwhile, the compilation of the Australian National Dictionary on Historical Principles (1988), through its association with Oxford University Press, has ensured that many Australianisms are registered in the second and third editions of the Oxford English Dictionary and acknowledged as elements of world English. Australian neologisms, especially informal words ending in –ie, have probably contributed to their greater use in northern hemisphere Englishes, and perhaps to the increasing colloquialisation of English worldwide.
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