Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses

Religious focalisation in dictionaries: a comparative case study between English and Spanish

María Alonso Alonso, Laura Torrado Mariñas



The aim of this article is to expose the various strategies which are used by two of the most important dictionaries in the English and Spanish contexts, the Oxford English Dictionary and the Diccionario de la Real Academia Española, to focalise religious discourse in the main body of the definitions appearing in each dictionary. A theoretical framework on ideology and the dictionary will serve as the starting point from which to analyse these strategies and offer a classification with practical examples, dwelling on the notions of modification and focalisation. The results obtained from both dictionaries will be discussed in relation to the major strategies alluded to, highlighting the fact that the dictionary does not exist in a vacuum. As such, it is always affected by ideology in a certain degree, something which seems to support our thesis that religious discourse is one of the areas where a more pervasive presence of focalisation can be felt.


Dictionaries; Religious discourse; Ideology; Focalisation


Copyright (c) 2011 María Alonso Alonso, Laura Torrado Mariñas

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