Journal History

Lexikos (Greek for "of or for words") is a journal for the lexicographic specialist and since 1991 it is published by the Bureau of the WAT in the AFRILEX Series. AFRILEX is an acro­nym for "lexicography in or for Africa". The publication of Lexikos is an indirect result of a formal lexicographic discussion in Stellenbosch in 1989 between the editorial staff of the WAT and a group of prominent linguists. The Bureau of the WAT realized that there existed a great need for the exchange of lexicographical information and experience in Africa. This lead to the establishment of Lexikos, which as specialist publication could serve as an excellent medium and vehicle for lexicographic discussion.

Lexikos is the only journal in Africa that is exclusively devoted to lexicography. It contributes enormously to stimulate the lexicographical discourse not only in Africa but also in the inter­national lexicographic community. It consists of contributions from all over the world on a variety of lexicographical aspects, theoretical as well as practical.

Although the first contributions published were only in Afrikaans and English, articles in other languages such as German, Dutch and French were also later published. At first only articles were published, but later it became necessary to add other types of contributions and catego­ries such as reviews and publication announcements. As from Lexikos 4 the contributions were also distinguished typologically and accordingly classified under headings such as Arti­cles, Review Articles, Reviews, Projects, Reports and Lexiconotes.

In 1994 an Advisory Board as well as an Editorial Committee of international standing was appointed. The Advisory Board primarily gives advice to the Editor, and the Editorial Com­mittee judges contributions for Lexikos to help ensure the academic quality of the publication. As from the first volume of Lexikos two or more lexicographic specialists judged each research article. From volume 4 onwards Lexikos was accredited by the Department of Edu­cation as an income generating publication. This once again confirmed the standard of the journal.

Since 1996 Lexikos has become the mouthpiece of the African Association for Lexicography. One of the most important aims with the publication of Lexikos still remained the establish­ment of a communication channel for national and international lexicographic discussion, and in par­ticular to serve lexicography in Africa, with its rich language diversity.

The first editor of Lexikos was Mr Pieter Harteveld. His contribution to the establishment and expansion of Lexikos was remarkable. The scientific standard and relevance of the research contributions was of great importance to him. Mr Harteveld was the editor of the first five vol­umes of this publication. After he passed away Dr D.J. van Schalkwyk acted as the editor of Lexikos 5. As from Lexikos 6 Dr J.C.M.D. du Plessis took over as editor and he remained in this position until Lexikos 20 was published. He once again acted as the editor for Lexikos 23 when the appointed editor was unavailable owing to pressure of work. During his editorship Dr Du Plessis established and strengthened the journal's position and status as scientific journal on an international level. He did his utmost to help create a true culture of scientific reporting on lexicography in Africa. He also offered guidance to new contributors by assisting them with their contributions. Since 2011 Lexikos has been edited on a rotating basis by Profs Elsabé Taljard, Danie Prinsloo and Rufus Gouws. In 2016 Dr H.S. (Steve) Ndinga-Koumba-Binza joined the editorial team after Prof. Gouws had to withdraw from the team owing to other work obligations. Although the editorial team share the joint responsibilities for each volume one member of the team is annually appointed as final editor.

Lexikos is published annually and the first twenty-seven volumes have already been pub­lished. It is electronically available on the webpage, but also made available by Sabinet, AJOL, Ebsco and Proquest.

Since 2009 Lexikos has been an indexed journal for which an Impact Factor is being calcu­lated in the category Linguistics. In 2017 the Impact Factor of Lexikos as Linguistics journal was higher than the average among journals in humanities published outside the Western world. This shows that Lexikos has established itself as one of the leading lexicographical journals in the world.

The publication of the printed issues of Lexikos was made possible inter alia by a generous donation from the L.W. Hiemstra Trust. This trust was established by Riekie Hiemstra in memory of Ludwig Wybren (Louis) Hiemstra. As from 2018 Lexikos will only be published electronically.