The Use of Pictorial Illustrations in African Language Dictionaries

  • L Gangla-Birir


This article examines the use of pictorial illustrations in African language dictionar-ies, with particular reference to items generally included in dictionaries based on Stein's (1991) categories. It argues for the need to include more illustrations of cultural items specific to a par-ticular community and language group in dictionaries. A corpus analytic survey is done to deter-mine if African language dictionaries employ pictorial illustrations and, if so, which items are illus-trated. The results of this survey indicate that only a few African language dictionaries employ pictorial illustrations, even those that do correspond to Stein's categories. Of the dictionaries exam-ined, only one uses illustrations in the form of full-colour photographs, namely of different kinds of cattle, a very important cultural item within that specific community. Keywords: pictorial illustrations, culture, lexicography, bilingual dic-tionary, monolingual dictionary, african language

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2224-0039
print ISSN: 1684-4904