Thoughts and views on the compilation of monolingual dictionaries in South Africa

  • N.C.P Golele


Developing and documenting the eleven official languages of South Africa on all levels of communication in order to fulfil all the roles and uses characteristic of truly official languages is a great challenge. To meet this need various bodies such as the National Lexicography Units have been established by the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB). As far as dictionary compilation is concerned, acquaintance with the state-of-the-art developments in the theory and practice of lexicography is necessary. The focus of the African languages should be directed onto the compilation of monolingual dictionaries. It is important that these monolingual dictionaries should be usable right from the start on a continuous basis. Continued attention should be given to enlarging the corpora and actual consultation of these corpora on the macro- and microstructural levels. The end-products should be of a high lexicographic standard, well-balanced in terms of lemma selection, length of the articles, maximum utilisation of available dictionary space etc. They should also be planned and compiled in such a way that the transition from paper dictionaries to electronic dictionaries could be easily and naturally accomplished. Advanced and continued training in the compilation of monolingual dictionaries should be presented. Keywords: monolingual dictionaries, official languages, dictionary compilation, corpora, national lexicography units, target users, dictionary use, dictionary culture, core terms

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2224-0039
print ISSN: 1684-4904