The Lemmatisation of adverbs in northern Sotho

  • D.J Prinsloo


To date Northern Sotho metalexicographers have focused their attention on lemma-tisation problems in respect of the so-called main or primary part of speech categories, viz. nouns and verbs. See, for example, Prinsloo and De Schryver (1999) and Prinsloo and Gouws (1996). No attention has been given to the lemmatisation of adverbs. The latter are regarded by Ziervogel and Mokgokong (1975: 114, Introduction) as a "secondary part of speech". The treatment of adverbs in Northern Sotho dictionaries is marred by inconsistencies such as omissions from the macrostruc-ture, insufficient and inconsistent labelling, inferior treatment in the microstructure, under-utiliza-tion of the mediostructure and outer texts, and reflects a lack of a strategy of selection of items for lemmatisation. Linguistic descriptions of adverbs in currently available grammars vary substan-tially and therefore confuse learners of the language and inexperienced lexicographers1. The aim of this article is to offer solutions to the lemmatisation problems regarding adverbs in Northern Sotho and to propose guiding entries for paper and electronic dictionaries which could serve as models for future dictionaries. The treatment of adverbs in Northern Sotho dictionaries will also be criti-cally evaluated, especially in terms of frequency of use and target users' needs. Keywords: lexicography, lemmatisation, adverbs, information retriev-al, electronic dictionary, macrostructure, microstructure, cross-refer-encing, mediostructure, dictionary, african languages, back matter, northern sotho

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eISSN: 2224-0039
print ISSN: 1684-4904