The lexicographic treatment of sublexical and multilexical items in a northern Sotho monolingual dictionary: a challenge for lexicographers

  • M Mphahlele


Dictionaries have in the past used a word-based approach in which sublexical and multilexical items were not regarded as lemmata. Metalexicography as the theoretical component of lexicography requires that sublexical and multilexical items be lemmatized and treated as inde-pendent lemmata in the macrostructure of dictionaries. One of the greater challenges for compiling a better and user-oriented Northern Sotho monolingual dictionary is to treat sublexical and multi-lexical items as macrostructural elements. Treating these items, the lexicographer faces quite a number of challenges. This article proposes possible ways in which sublexical and multilexical elements could be successfully treated in a Northern Sotho monolingual dictionary. Taking stock of these challenges, the writer comes with suggestions that would assist lexicographers in the compi-lation of a user-friendly, lexicon-based monolingual dictionary that would lead users to successful information retrieval. Keywords: sublexical items, multilexical items, affixes, prefixal mor-phemes, suffixal morphemes, integrated microstructure, word-based approach, lemmatization, collocations, compounds, complexes, group prepositions, fixed expressions, morphemes, metalexicographical aspects, word-formation processes, word-internal function, user-oriented mono-lingual dictionary, grammar, homonymous lemma, polysemous lemma, decoding, encoding, semantic comment, semantic transparency

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2224-0039
print ISSN: 1684-4904