Does the Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal part XII do it for the Afrikaans language and South African lexicography? [Doen die Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal Deel XII dit vir die Afrikaanse Taal en die Suid-Afrikaanse leksikografie?]

Feinauer I. (2007)


This review article seeks to discover the extent to which WAT Part XII complies with its mission, that is "to serve the Afrikaans language and its users, as well as lexicography in general, especially South African lexicography". The front matter, back matter and central list are investigated and it is shown that both outer texts are integrated with the central list and in that respect lexicography is therefore served. With regard to the central list, it is concluded that users of Afrikaans as well as South African lexicography will benefit more if this would be conceptualised more systematically and planned according to lexicographic functions. The choice of lexical items which illustrate and represent the comprehensivity of the Afrikaans lexicon would also have to be rethought on the basis of a well-designed corpus. Frequently used words would then no longer be overlooked as lemma signs and the length of dictionary articles should also become more evenly balanced. In this way the Afrikaans language and its users will be served better. South African lexicography would benefit more if WAT were to return to what is expected of a comprehensive dictionary, namely a more balanced representation of the macro- and microstructure. This should also lead to less disparity in article size and fewer untreated lemma signs.

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