Standardization or Stigmatization? Challenges Confronting Lexicography

  • VM Mojela


Abstract: The article investigates the effects of the underutilization of the abundant vocabulary of Sesotho sa Leboa, which results from a one-sided standardization approach owing to the disregard and stigmatization of most dialects. Sesotho sa Leboa has several dialects differing greatly concerning terminology, pronunciation and vocabulary. The situation is complicated and aggravated by a standardization which has sidelined more than half of the dialects because of factors such as the influence of colonialism and lack of government co-ordination, the missionary activities, and the influence of early writers and publications. The strict and narrow standardization of Sesotho sa Leboa resulted in the exclusion of large parts of the dialectal vocabulary, the forcing of dialect speakers to accept a foreign standard language, the creation of 'prestige' and 'inferior' dialects, the separation of the standard language from its own dialects and the awakening of a nationalistic spirit among some dialect-speaking communities. Finally solutions for the challenges caused by these developments are afforded. Keywords: COLONIALISM, CORPUS, DIALECT, INFERIOR DIALECTS, LEMMATIZATION, LEXICOGRAPHY, MISSIONARY ACTIVITIES, NATIONALISM, ORTHOGRAPHY, PRESTIGE DIALECTS, STANDARD LANGUAGE, STANDARD DICTIONARY, SIDELINED DIALECTS, STIGMATIZED DIALECTS, TERMINOGRAPHY

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2224-0039
print ISSN: 1684-4904