The Contribution of Missionaries to Shona Lexicography*

Advice Viriri

Abstract


Abstract: The article discusses the developments in Shona lexicography during the colonial eraand the contribution made by the missionaries in general and Father M. Hannan in particularwhich later resulted in the on-going process of compiling monolingual dictionaries by the AfricanLanguages Research Institute (ALRI) (into which the ALLEX project has been transformed). Themissionaries employed various methods that did not only signal the beginning of an economicallyexploitative relationship between "the West and the rest of us" but also had ancillary cultural consequences(Dathorne 1975: 3). Their motives towards the development of African literature in generaland Zimbabwean lexicographic work in particular were primarily evangelical and not to furthercreative writing. This caused Father Hannan to experience problems not only in his translationof the Shona Bible but also in his Standard Shona Dictionary. Hannan is used as an example becausehis translation problems were typical of those experienced by all missionaries. Hannan's dictionarywas a welcome new development using the orthography introduced in 1931 and revised in 1955.The aim of his dictionary was "to record Shona words in Standard Shona spelling" (Hannan 1959:ix). Hannan's dictionary has made a considerable contribution to standardising Shona orthography.

Keywords: LEXICOGRAPHY, MISSIONARY, COBUILD, SHONA DICTIONARY, MONOLINGUALDICTIONARY, BILINGUAL DICTIONARY, CULTURE, TRANSLATION, STANDARDORTHOGRAPHY, COLONIALISM, CULTURAL IMPERIALISM, SHONA PROVERBS,AFRICAN LANGUAGES RESEARCH INSTITUTE (ALRI), INFLUENCE.

Opsomming: Die bydrae van sendelinge tot die Sjonaleksikografie. Die artikelbespreek die ontwikkelinge in Sjonaleksikografie gedurende die koloniale tydperk en die bydraegemaak deur die sendelinge in die algemeen en Vader M. Hannan in die besonder, wat later uitgeloophet op die voortgaande proses van die samestelling van eentalige woordeboeke deur dieAfrican Languages Research Institute (ALRI) (waarin die ALLEX-projek omskep is). Die sendelingehet verskillende metodes gebruik wat nie net die begin van 'n ekonomies uitbuitende verhoudingtussen "the West and the rest of us" ingelui het nie, maar ook bykomende kulturele gevolge gehadhet (Dathorne 1975: 3). Hul motiewe betreffende die ontwikkeling van Afrikaliteratuur in diealgemeen en Zimbabwiese leksikografiese werk in die besonder was primêr evangeliserend en nieom skeppende skryfwerk te bevorder nie. Dit het veroorsaak dat Vader Hannan probleme ondervindhet nie net by sy vertaling van die Shona Bible nie, maar ook in sy Standard Shona Dictionary.Hannan word gebruik as voorbeeld omdat sy vertaalprobleme tipies was van dié wat alle sendelinge ervaar het. Hannan se woordeboek was 'n welkome nuwe ontwikkeling wat die ortografiegebruik wat in 1931 ingevoer en in 1955 hersien is. Die doel van sy woordeboek was "to recordShona words in Standard Shona spelling" (Hannan 1959: ix). Hannan se woordeboek het 'n aansienlikebydrae gelewer tot die standaardisering van die Sjonaortografie.

Sleutelwoorde: LEKSIKOGRAFIE, SENDELING, COBUILD, SJONAWOORDEBOEK,EENTALIGE WOORDEBOEK, TWEETALIGE WOORDEBOEK, KULTUUR, VERTALING,STANDAARD ORTOGRAFIE, KOLONIALISME, KULTURELE IMPERIALISME, SJONASPREEKWOORDE,AFRICAN LANGUAGES RESEARCH INSTITUTE (ALRI), INVLOED


Keywords


LEXICOGRAPHY; MISSIONARY; COBUILD; SHONA DICTIONARY; MONOLINGUAL DICTIONARY; BILINGUAL DICTIONARY; CULTURE; TRANSLATION; STANDARD ORTHOGRAPHY; COLONIALISM; CULTURAL IMPERIALISM; SHONA PROVERBS; AFRICAN LANGUAGES RESEARCH INSTITUTE (ALRI); INFLUENCE.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5788/14-0-699

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

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