Louis Molamu. Tsotsitaal: A Dictionary of the Language of Sophiatown

V.M. Mojela

Abstract


The compiler of this dictionary is perhaps the first and only person to have attempted to produce a dictionary of this 'language' or register, and he should be complemented on this. This is a dictionary in a class of its own, i.e. a spe-cialised dictionary written to capture the vocabulary of Tsotsitaal, a language which may be regarded as 'obsolete' (or at least 'endangered') due to its nature and the versatility associated with it. It is gradually deteriorating and disap-pearing while changing from the original language of Sophiatown into various regional versions corrupted by the various other languages of South Africa. The compiler does not seem to have been motivated by knowledge of or experi-ence in dictionary writing, but by a desire to preserve the vocabulary of the language he loves, and to share his knowledge with future generations who may have been unfortunate not to have encountered the lifestyle of Sophia-town.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5788/13-0-743

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

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