A Dictionary of the Malayan Language - William Marsden 1812 - printed for the author by Cox and Baylis, London - First Edition A good copy of this somewhat scarce dictionary, with interesting provenance, formerly owned by Jonas Daniel Vaughan [1825-1891] a prominent lawyer in Singapore, he also ‘found the task of compiling a supplement to the Malay-English dictionary to be too complex’ [Sutherland] but there are numerous pencil notes and marginalia here.

‘While in Sumatra Marsden developed an academic interest in the Malay language and related tongues that was to last the whole of his life. He published both a dictionary and a grammar of the Malay language in 1812. These were his most significant and enduring linguistic works. Marsden’s original intention had been to publish the grammar and the dictionary as one volume. However, he was persuaded to publish them separately because ‘
however convenient such an arrangement might prove to the private student, it must be otherwise in places of public education, where their separate use ... would be considered as indispensable.’

The dictionary, in particular, broke new ground in terms of methodology. Unlike many previous dictionaries and word lists, Marsden used Arabic characters for the Malay words and arranged the entries following the alphabetical order of the Arabic characters. Another innovation is the inclusion of examples of phrases from native sources, many of which were taken from manuscripts in his collection.’ - King’s College London,
The Marsden Collection.
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Price: HK$ 28,000