Supplying Syntactic Information in a Quadrilingual Explanatory Dictionary of Chemistry (English, Afrikaans, isiZulu, Sepedi): A Preliminary Investigation*

Elsabé Taljard, Rachélle Gauton

Abstract


Abstract: In response to a number of recent government publications on the promotion of science and technology training, the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns (South African Academy for Science and Art) initiated the compilation of a multilingual explanatory dictionary for chemistry. The need for such a dictionary is especially urgent in learning environments where learners receive tuition through a medium other than their mother tongue. This is particularly relevant for learners whose mother tongue is an African language. Taking into account the target user's fragmented knowledge of the subject field and low second language competence, the planners decided that certain syntactic information should be specified for the isiZulu and Sepedi entries; specifically the part of speech to which a lemma belongs. This poses certain problems for the lexicographer, since the issue of word categorisation is, especially in Sepedi, an unresolved one. A second problem that presents itself to the lexicographer is the lexicographic convention which is used to indicate the word class to which a specific lemma belongs. Abbreviations referring to the parts of speech are normally used for this purpose. No standardised abbreviations for the different parts of speech exist in isiZulu or Sepedi. Principles for the formation of abbreviations have also not been formulated for the official orthographies of these languages. The only solution to this problem is to study existing abbreviations in order to abstract the principles of abbreviation formation. Only then can abbreviations indicating the parts of speech be formulated for use in the dictionary.

Keywords: SPECIAL FIELD DICTIONARY, CHEMISTRY, ISIZULU, SEPEDI, WORD CATEGORISATION, LEXICOGRAPHICAL CONVENTION, ABBREVIATIONS, MULTILINGUAL DICTIONARY

Opsomming: Die insluiting van sintaktiese inligting in 'n viertalige verklarendechemiewoordeboek (Engels, Afrikaans, isiZulu, Sepedi): 'n Voorlopigeondersoek. In reaksie op 'n aantal onlangse regeringspublikasies rakende die bevordering vanwetenskap- en tegnologieopleiding, het die Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns die inisiatief geneem om 'n viertalige verklarende chemiewoordeboek saam te stel. Die behoefte aan so'n woordeboek is veral dringend in leeromgewings waar leerders onderrig in 'n ander taal as hulmoedertaal ontvang. Dit is veral van toepassing op leerders wat 'n Afrikataal as moedertaal het.Met die teikengebruiker se gefragmenteerde kennis van die studieveld en swak tweedetaalvaardigheidin ag geneem, het die beplanners besluit dat bepaalde sintaktiese inligting ook ten opsigte vandie isiZulu- en Sepedi-inskrywings gespesifiseer moet word; veral die woordklas waartoe 'n lemmabehoort. Dit veroorsaak sekere probleme vir die leksikograaf, aangesien die aangeleentheid vanwoordkategorisering veral in Sepedi, 'n onopgeloste een is. 'n Tweede probleem waarmee die leksikograafgekonfronteer word, is die leksikografiese konvensie wat gebruik word om die woordkategoriewaartoe 'n spesifieke lemma behoort, aan te dui. Afkortings wat na die woordklasse verwys,word normaalweg vir hierdie doel gebruik. In nóg isiZulu, nóg Sepedi bestaan daar egter gestandaardiseerdeafkortings vir die verskillende woordklasse. Geen beginsels vir die vorming vanafkortings is ook nog in die amptelike ortografieë van hierdie tale geformuleer nie. Die enigsteoplossing vir hierdie probleem is om bestaande afkortings te bestudeer ten einde die beginsels virdie vorming van afkortings daaruit te abstraheer. Slegs dan kan afkortings wat die woordklasseaandui, geformuleer word vir gebruik in die woordeboek.

Sleutelwoorde: SPESIALISWOORDEBOEK, CHEMIE, ISIZULU, SEPEDI, WOORDKATEGORISERING,LEKSIKOGRAFIESE KONVENSIE, AFKORTINGS, VEELTALIGE WOORDEBOEK


Keywords


SPECIAL FIELD DICTIONARY; CHEMISTRY; ISIZULU; SEPEDI; WORD CATEGORISATION; LEXICOGRAPHICAL CONVENTION; ABBREVIATIONS; MULTILINGUAL DICTIONARY

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5788/11-0-847

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

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