From Wordlist to Comparative Lexicography: The Lexinotes

Tony Naden


This paper sketches the history of the study of the languages of West Africa, particularly of their lexical resources, offered as a typical example of similar developments elsewhere in the world. The collection of wordlists from the languages and their use to establish genetic relationships is considered, with some practical observations on the improvement of this methodology. The final section reports on an ongoing project for a comparative dictionary in northern Ghana, particularly the use of simple semantic network studies both within and across languages. An appendix presents one of the preliminary papers circulated in connection with this project.



colonialism, comparison, dictionary, exploration, gur, history, languages, lexicography, lexicology, linguistics, semantics, vocabulary, west africa, wordlist

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

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