Affirming a Role for Specialised Dictionaries in Indigenous African Languages

Dion Nkomo

Abstract


ABSTRACT: One of the main problems facing speakers and language practitioners of indigenous African languages is the shortage of appropriate dictionaries for a variety of purposes. This lack results in users consulting any available but inappropriate dictionaries. Quite often, users are disappointed because a wrong dictionary does not normally provide the required assistance. Various functions, which the dictionary may serve, are sought in vain from inappropriate dictionaries and other terminological products. Consequently, the potential of lexicography in general and specialised lexicography in particular, remains unrealised owing to a variety of reasons. This article which mainly discusses the specialised dictionary, draws insights from Wiegand's (1984) general theory of lexicography and the theory of lexicographic functions (Bergenholtz and Tarp 1995, 2003; Tarp 2000, 2002, 2008) to affirm the role of specialised dictionaries in indigenous African languages and also to give insights into how such dictionaries may be produced.

OPSOMMING: Die bevestiging van 'n rol vir gespesialiseerde woordeboeke in die inheemse Afrikatale. Een van die hoofprobleme waarvoor sprekers en taalpraktisyns van inheemse Afrikatale te staan kom, is die tekort aan gepaste woordeboeke vir 'n verskeidenheid doeleindes. Hierdie gebrek lei daartoe dat gebruikers enige bekombare maar ongeskikte woordeboeke raadpleeg. Heel dikwels word gebruikers teleurgestel omdat 'n verkeerde woordeboek nie normaalweg die verlangde hulp verskaf nie. Verskillende funksies wat die woordeboek kan aanbied, word tevergeefs in ongeskikte woordeboeke en ander terminologiese produkte gesoek. Gevolglik bly die potensiaal van die leksikografie in die algemeen en die gespesialiseerde leksikografie in die besonder onverwesenlik vanweë 'n verskeidenheid redes. Hierdie artikel wat hoofsaaklik die gespesialiseerde leksikografie bespreek, verkry insigte uit Wiegand (1984) se algemene teorie van die leksikografie en die teorie van leksikografiese funksies (Bergenholtz and Tarp 1995, 2003; Tarp 2000, 2002, 2008) om die rol van gespesialiseerde woordeboeke in die inheemse Afrikatale te bevestig, en ook om insigte te verskaf in hoe sulke woordeboeke gemaak kan word.

Sleutelwoorde: LEKSIKOGRAFIE, TSD-LEKSIKOGRAFIE, METALEKSIKOGRAFIE, WOORDEBOEKGESKIEDENIS, WOORDEBOEKKRITIEK, WOORDEBOEKTIPOLOGIE, WOORDEBOEKSTRUKTUUR, TSD-WOORDEBOEK, AFRIKATALE, LEKSIKOGRAFIESE FUNKSIES


Keywords


LEXICOGRAPHY; LSP LEXICOGRAPHY; METALEXICOGRAPHY; DICTIONARY HISTORY; DICTIONARY CRITICISM; DICTIONARY TYPOLOGY; DICTIONARY STRUCTURE; LSP DICTIONARY; AFRICAN LANGUAGES; LEXICOGRAPHIC FUNCTIONS

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5788/20-0-148

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ISSN 2224-0039 (online); ISSN 1684-4904 (print)

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