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Target Users' Expectations versus the Actual Compilation of a Shona Children's Dictionary

E Mangoya


The article discusses the challenges that confronted the team of compilers working on the monolingual Shona Children's Dictionary (henceforth SCD). It looks at the active involve-ment of the target users in shaping the project and discusses the considerations for the implemen-tation of their recommendations. Matters of concern include issues of headword selection, espe-cially problems of dialect representation in the dictionary. The article also discusses the inclusion of grammatical information such as tone marking. The SCD is one of the many efforts to promote and raise the functions of the indigenous languages in Zimbabwe. Of special interest in this article is therefore the discussion on the inclusion of international words like those denoting weight, dis-tance and mathematical and scientific concepts. The article also considers the treatment of taboo words in the SCD, which takes into account that society has to open up culturally to be able to unequivocally view some of the aspects of life with which present-day children are confronted. The article lastly discusses how a balance was reached for accommodating the target users' proposal for the inclusion of an elaborate back matter in view of the limited available scope and space of the SCD.

Keywords: target users, dialect representation, international words, taboo words, tone marking, back matter, dictionary, lexicography
AJOL African Journals Online