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Language contact and lexical change: a lexicographical terminographical interface in Zimbabwean ndebele

L Khumalo


In this article linguistic changes and/or developments in the Ndebele language spoken in Zimbabwe are investigated and analyzed and the implications these have for term creation and standardization through lexicography. This is followed by a brief historical analysis of the nature and causes of language change in Ndebele. The first part of the article gives a brief background
of the Ndebele language, highlighting the movement of the Ndebele people from South Africa which provided a fertile ground for the process of language contact and therefore language change. The second part of the article contrasts terminography with lexicography. The Ndebele corpus of both spoken and written material demonstrates a large extent of borrowing and also loss of certain lexical items. Ndebele lexicograpers were expected to introduce some terms for the purposes of popularizing their use and consequently their acceptance.

Keywords: ndebele, language contact, lexical change, vocabulary change, lexical engineering, lexicography, terminography

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2224-0039
print ISSN: 1684-4904