Wright, Joseph


Wright, Joseph
(1855-1930)
   Born in poverty in Thackley, Yorkshire, Joseph Wright taught himself to read and write and educated himself to university level. He studied for a Ph.D. at Heidelberg, and served as Deputy Professor (1891-1901) and later Professor of Comparative Philology at Oxford University (1901-25). Wright published numerous standard texts on the grammar of various languages, and an interest in English dialects resulted in his Windhill Dialect Grammar (1893), which was, he claimed, 'The first grammar of its kind in England: as scientific study of a living dialect intended to be useful to philologists' (Wright, 1932: 138). In 1887 Wright accepted the position of editor of the long-planned English Dialect Dictionary, which was finally published in six volumes between 1896 and 1905, mostly at Wright's own expense. He was also the instigator of the Yorkshire Dialect Society. Joseph Wright married Elizabeth Mary Lea (see E. M. *Wright) in 1896.
   ■ Elizabeth Mary Wright, The Life of Joseph Wright (1932); F. Austin Hyde, 'Yorkshire Remembers Dr. Joseph Wright', The Dalesman (Oct. 1955), 335-7; DNB.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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