Introducing a New Lexicographical Model: AlphaConceptual+ (and How it Could Be Applied to Dictionaries for Luganda)

Deo Kawalya, Gilles-Maurice de Schryver


In this article we explore the possibility of amalgamating the semasiological (i.e. alpha­betical), onomasiological (i.e. conceptual) and visual approaches to dictionary compilation, here termed an alphaconceptual+ (i.e. alphaconceptual 'plus') dictionary, using Luganda as a brief case study. Such a dictionary would combine the strong points of alphabetical and conceptual lexi­cography, with all entries also linked to relevant picture plates. In Section 1 we expound on the his­tory of Luganda lexicography, highlighting the different types of dictionaries in the language since the early 1900s. Section 2 is an exposition of semasiological and onomasiological lexicogra­phy. In Sec­tions 3 and 4 we study the actual dictionary market and scholarly lexicographic litera­ture, in Africa and the rest of the world respectively. In Section 5 a case for language-independent alpha­conceptual+ lexicography is argued, and its proposed compilation approach is sketched out in Sec­tion 6, followed by the conclusion in Section 7.


semasiological lexicography, onomasiological lexicog­raphy, thesaurus, thematic dictionary, topic dictionary, synonym dic­tion­ary, picture dictionary, visual dictionary, new lexicographical model, alphaconceptual+, luganda

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

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