Lexicography in Kenya: A Historical Survey

  • M.D. Mageria Department of Linguistics, University of Nairobi, Kenya
Keywords: kenya, dictionary, swahili, lexicography, dictionary use, linguists


This paper traces the historical development of lexicography in Kenya. Attempts are made to show that although Kenya's linguistic landscape boasts with about 50 indigenous African languages, very little has been done in the field of compiling their dictionaries, especially by Kenyans themselves. Particular attention has been paid to the works done so far on the main African languages spoken in Kenya. It is argued that in the past five years Kenyan scholars have started to take considerable notice of lexicography as an academic subject. I have briefly focused on the language situation in Kenya, Swahili lexicography, professional literature and seminars. It is proposed that more efforts need to be advanced, in updating the already existing dictionaries as well as venturing into specific genres of lexicography like dictionary criticism and dictionary use.  
How to Cite
Mageria, M. (1). Lexicography in Kenya: A Historical Survey. Lexikos, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.5788/6-1-1050