Dictionary for a Minority Language: the Case of Ket

By November 23, 2016,
Page 129-137
Author Elizaveta Kotorova
Title Dictionary for a Minority Language: the Case of Ket
Abstract Making a dictionary of a minority language, especially, an endangered one requires solving several problematic issues specific to this kind of lexicographical work. The primary issues to be dealt with in this case are as follows: (1) Identification of the target audience. There are three possible variants: language community, academic community, or both communities. The choice depends on what lexicographical work has already been done for a given language and what are the needs and expectations of the communities. (2) Collecting data and compiling the basic vocabulary. There are several approaches to this issue including a) translation of the list of the most frequent words from a European language, b) extraction of the wordlist from a corpus of texts, and c) thematic elicitation from native speakers in order to obtain basic lexical units belonging to a particular semantic field. (3) Creating dictionary entries. In general, every dictionary entry consists of two main components – a lemma and a commentary. Both components usually have certain peculiarities in dictionaries of minority languages. These may include, for example, orthographic representation of the lemma, hierarchic arrangement of word meanings, presentation of encyclopedic information in the dictionary, and so on. The present paper provides an account of how these problems were dealt with in the Comprehensive dictionary of Ket, a highly endangered indigenous language spoken in Central Siberia.
Session The Dictionary-Making Process
Keywords lexicography; dictionary making; minority languages; Siberian languages; Ket
author={Elizaveta Kotorova},
title={Dictionary for a Minority Language: the Case of Ket},
booktitle={Proceedings of the 17th EURALEX International Congress},
address={Tbilisi, Georgia},
editor={Tinatin Margalitadze, George Meladze},
publisher={Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi University Press},