• P-ISSN 0974-6846 E-ISSN 0974-5645

Indian Journal of Science and Technology


Indian Journal of Science and Technology

Year: 2015, Volume: 8, Issue: Supplementary 10, Pages: 1-5

Original Article

From a Dictionary to the Copyright: Linguistic and Legal Aspects of Noah Webster’s Media Discourse


The article examines the complex process of forming the national sociocultural model in the US in the last two decades of the eighteenth century in the context of the creative activity of one of the leaders of the federalist parties - Noah Webster (1758-1843). Webster's contribution to the development of national identity cannot be overestimated, since he was able to realize himself as an editor, essayist, lexicographer and reformer of the English language, as well as a lawmaker, one of the authors of the American concept of copyright. All these components of Webster’s personality are analyzed in general linguocultural aspect and legal contexts typical of the America of the specified period, taking into account the influence of the existing at the time media practices on the minds of his contemporaries. Webster, being inside the system of informational influence (as a publicist and an editor), defined the ‘agenda’, pushing and sharpening issues that he considered important for the creation of a new nation. Two extremely complex tasks (a linguistic reform and protection of intellectual property), which had to be located in different areas of application, turned to be united in the media discourse proposed by Webster and were put into practice in the framework of the available historical, cultural and political situation.
Keywords: Copyright Act of 1790, Hermeneutic Microhistory, Media Discourse, Noah Webster, Sociocultural Model of the US, The English Language Spelling Reform


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