User-friendly Dictionaries for Zulu: An Exercise in Complexicography

By November 17, 2016,
Page 827-836
Author Gilles-Maurice de Schryver, Arnett Wilkes
Title User-friendly Dictionaries for Zulu: An Exercise in Complexicography
Abstract In this paper the main features of Bantu lexicography are analysed through several case studies of Zulu dictionary features. Examples from both existing dictionaries as well as a forthcoming reference work are used in the analysis, which develops from verbs and nouns, gradually including more word classes, and ending with a detailed study of possessive pronouns. The latter serves as one example of the complex mappings that occur in the creation of bilingual dictionaries where the two languages involved have very different grammatical structures. In this case, one concept-that of a possessor and its possession-has only a few members in English, but hundreds in Zulu. It is shown how one can deal with such a mass of data in a structured, systematic and linguistically-sound way, all the while aiming to produce a user-friendly end product. All the members of this single concept are collectively referred to as a paradigm, and it is indicated that some members are homonymous with members of other paradigms-a fact which exponentially complicates the dictionary treatment. Several suggestions are made for the lexicographic treatment of conjunctively written Bantu languages, and all the claims, as well as all the data, are based on facts derived from a large general-language Zulu corpus.
Session 4. Bilingual Lexicography
author = {Gilles-Maurice de Schryver, Arnett Wilkes},
title = {User-friendly Dictionaries for Zulu: An Exercise in Complexicography},
pages = {827-836},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 13th EURALEX International Congress},
year = {2008},
month = {jul},
date = {15-19},
address = {Barcelona, Spain},
editor = {Elisenda Bernal, Janet DeCesaris},
publisher = {Institut Universitari de Linguistica Aplicada, Universitat Pompeu Fabra},
isbn = {978-84-96742-67-3},