A Critical Analysis of the Lemmatisation of Nouns and Verbs in isiZulu

  • D.J. Prinsloo Department of African Languages,University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South-Africa
Keywords: conjunctive orthography, disjunctive orthography, electronic dictionaries, left-expanded article structure, lemmatisation, stem identification, stem lemmatisation, user perspective, word lemmatisation


This article is a critical evaluation of lemmatisation strategies for nouns and verbs in isiZulu with specific attention to the problem of stem identification. The presumed target users of dictionaries compiled according to these lemmatisation strategies are non- mother tongue learners of isiZulu. The advantages versus disadvantages of lemmatising verbal and nominal stems, verbal and nominal stems without suffixes, and nominal words will be considered mainly in terms of the entire paradigm containing the verbal root -sebenz- from an isiZulu corpus. The conclusion reached is that word lemmatisation is preferred over both stem lemmatisation and lemmatisation of stems without suffixes. It will be argued that the problem of stem identification can only be solved in electronic dictionaries and the electronic dictionary isiZulu.net will be analysed in this regard.