Affirming a Role for Specialised Dictionaries in Indigenous African Languages

  • D Nkomo


One of the main problems facing speakers and language practitioners of indigenous African languages is the shortage of appropriate dictionaries for a variety of purposes. This lack results in users consulting any available but inappropriate dictionaries. Quite often, users are disappointed because a wrong dictionary does not normally provide the required assistance. Various functions, which the dictionary may serve, are sought in vain from inappropriate dictionaries and other terminological products. Consequently, the potential of lexicography in general and specialised lexicography in particular, remains unrealised owing to a variety of reasons. This article which mainly discusses the specialised dictionary, draws insights from Wiegand's (1984) general theory of lexicography and the theory of lexicographic functions (Bergenholtz and Tarp 1995, 2003; Tarp 2000, 2002, 2008) to affirm the role of specialised dictionaries in indigenous African languages and also to give insights into how such dictionaries may be produced. Keywords: Lexicography, Lsp Lexicography, Metalexicography, Dictionary History, Dictionary Criticism, Dictionary Typology, Dictionary Structure, Lsp Dictionary, African Languages, Lexicographic Functions

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2224-0039
print ISSN: 1684-4904