Improving Dictionary Criticism in Ndebele
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This article proposes approaches to dictionary criticism with a view to improving dictionary culture amongst the Ndebele of Zimbabwe. The growth of dictionary culture is partly hampered by lack of mature and informed dictionary criticism. The slow development of dictionary culture in turn affects negatively the production of informative, relevant and user-friendly dictionaries. In simple terms there is no link between the dictionary maker(s) and the dictionary user(s) other than the dictionary itself. The dictionary critic who should provide this link lacks the requisite skill to adequately help both the compiler and the user. This paper therefore advances some proposals that could be considered in dictionary criticism in Ndebele in particular and in African languages in general. In our view, an informative dictionary criticism cannot only improve dictionary use but dictionary culture as well.
This paper has been accepted for publication by JALEX (Journal of African Lexicography) published by ALRI, University of Zimbabwe