The Microstructural Treatment of Sublexical Lemmas in Afrikaans Descriptive Dictionaries

  • Ilse Feinauer Department of Afrikaans and Dutch, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Keywords: affixes, afrikaans descriptive dictionary, definiens, etymology, examples, homonymy, labels, lexical categories, lexical lemma, lexicography, macrostructure, microstructure, opposition, polysemy, pronunciation, quotations, stems, sublexical lemma, synonym


Arguments in metalexicographic literature on the status of subword and multiword lexical items resulted in a more comprehensive lemmatic treatment of these lexical items in the latest editions of Afrikaans descriptive dictionaries, e.g. <i>Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal</i> Volume IX (WAT), <i>Verklarende Handwoordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal</i> (HAT), <i>Nasionale Woordeboek</i> (NW), <i>Verklarende Afrikaanse Woordeboek</i> (VA), and <i>Basiswoordeboek van Afrikaans</i> (BA).This article seeks to investigate whether sublexical lemmas are microstructurally treated the same as lexical lemmas, or whether lexicographers still distinguish between these various types of lemmas in some way or other. If differences exist in the treatment of the various types of lemmas, Afrikaans lexicographers are still word-biased: although subword lexical items are sometimes microstructurally treated in the same way as lexical items in that they are given lemmatic status, they are nevertheless distinguished microstructurally. For example, in WAT IX and HAT, sublexical lemmas are treated in almost the same manner as word lemmas in that their pronunciation is consistently given. However, in most of the dictionaries mentioned, grammatical information on sublexical lemmas is found as part of the definiens. Except for BA, no Afrikaans dictionary illustrates the contextual use of sublexical lemmas by means of examples or quotations; only their formation products are provided. More labels, and even etymological information, should also be provided more frequently as part of the microstructure of sublexical lemmas.On the basis of the preceding it can already be concluded that Afrikaans lexicographers have not nearly done enough in removing traces of word-bias in descriptive dictionaries. In addition to macrostucturally treating subword lexical items as lemmas, these items should, where possible, be dealt with on a microstructural level in exactly the same way as lexical lemmas<b>Keywords:</b> affixes; afrikaans descriptive dictionary; definiens; etymology; examples; homonymy; labels; lexical categories; lexical lemma; lexicography; macrostructure; microstructure; opposition; polysemy; pronunciation; quotations; stems; sublexical lemma; synonymy; techno-stems; word bias 
How to Cite
Feinauer, I. (2012). The Microstructural Treatment of Sublexical Lemmas in Afrikaans Descriptive Dictionaries. Lexikos, 7(1).
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