A Lexico-phonetic Comparison of Olukumi and Lukumi: A Procedure for Developing a Multilingual Dictionary

  • Joy Oluchi Uguru Department of Linguistics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
Keywords: lexico-phonetic, Olukumi, Lukumi, multilingual dictionary, cognitive semantics, variants, free variation


Generally, most multilingual dictionaries do not give adequate lexical and phonetic information (like contrasts and distributions). This could delay language learning (particularly among second language learners). This study demonstrates a comparative display of lexico-phonetic features of Lukumi and Olukumi in a proposed bilingual dictionary. The study, based on cognitive semantics and variation theories, proves that this display reveals how the user can distinguish the lexical and phonetic details within and across the languages. Downloaded Lukumi wordlists (132 words) were used to elicit information on Olukumi equivalents through an oral interview conducted in Ukwunzu, a major Olukumi speaking community in Delta state, Nigeria. However, 74 words were purposefully selected for comparative analysis while 23 words were used to demonstrate dictionary compilation. Through comparative analysis, free variants, synonymous and polysemous words were discovered and displayed in the dictionary. The study concludes that adequate lexical and phonetic comparison (and analysis) of words is vital in compiling a bilingual dictionary and will facilitate dictionary usage and language learning.

Author Biography

Joy Oluchi Uguru, Department of Linguistics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria