The representation of phonetic-phonological information in Nguni dictionaries

Shoba, F. M. (Feziwe Martha) (2001-12)

Thesis (MA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2001.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The concern of the study of phonetics and phonology is the speech sounds of languages. Phonetics is concerned with the description and the classification of speech sounds. Phonology, on the other hand is responsible for the sound patterns of speech sounds in a given language namely, the sound inventory, permissible sequences and how the sounds change in different circumstances. This study examines and evaluates the manner in which phonetic-phonological information is applied in South African dictionaries with particular reference to Nguni dictionaries. Dictionaries are regarded as authoritative linguistic tools, therefore, the phonetic-phonological aspects of the language is one of the important information categories that is included in dictionaries. A word as the linguistic unit consists of speech sounds which are in turn regarded as phonological units as well as phonetic entities. The phonetic-phonological signification of the lexical unit in the dictionary entry plays a role in access to facilitating the spoken form of the language recorded. This critical analysis and evaluation of Nguni dictionaries reflects on the current approaches pertaining to the presentation of both segmental and suprasegmental features of speech sound. Secondly, it also demonstrates the types of pronunciation information that is lexicographically relevant for the thorough treatment of the lemma. Although phonetic-phonological information is almost the prevalent feature of all dictionary types, there are problems encountered during its presentation. In the evaluation of Nguni dictionaries the treatment of pronunciation information is coupled with inadequacies and inconsistencies. This is due to the lack of lexicographic planning and the sound application of lexicographic principles. It is evident from the investigation that pronunciation information remains the essential component of the dictionary entry. The inclusion of phonetic-phonological information requires lexicographic planning that is actually based on linguistic theories that are primarily aimed at practical lexicography. The general guidelines that are presented in this study compel lexicographers to introduce innovative methods when handling pronunciation. The proposed approaches in future dictionaries will enhance the accessibility of information when harmonised. It is concluded that lexicographical products in the multilingual South Africa should begin to document the spoken form of various languages for the general record of the sounds of the language and also for pedagogic purposes. A good phonological and phonetic description of the official languages is also pertinent especially in the design stage of the dictionary. The lexicographic approaches followed in the treatment of any linguistic information should based on the (a) functional criteria of the dictionary compiled and (b) also on the prospective user's skills.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Fonetiek en fonologie is die studie van die spraakklanke van tale. Fonetiek sien om na die beskrywing en klassifikasie van spraakklanke. Fonologie daarenteen is verantwoordelik vir die klankpatrone van spraakklanke in 'n gegewe taal nl. die klankinventaris, die toelaatbare sekwensies en hoe die klanke omvorm word in wisselende omstandighede, dit wil se die fonologiese proses. Hierdie studie ondersoek die manier waarop foneties-fonologiese inligting in Suid-Afrikaanse woordeboeke, veral die van die Nguni-tale, vergestalt word. Woordeboeke word gesien as gesaghebbende linguistiese werktuie en die foneties-fonologiese aspekte van taal kom as 'n vername informasiekategorie daarin voor. Die woord as linguistiese eenheid bestaan uit spraakklanke wat op hul beurt beide as fonologiese eenhede sowel as fonetiese entiteite beskou word. Die foneties-fonologiese komponent van die leksikale eenheid speel 'n betekenisvolle rol in die toegang tot die gesproke vorm van die opgetekende taal. Die kritiese analise en evaluasie van Nguni-woordeboeke oorweeg die huidige benaderings wat betrekking het op die aanbieding van beide segmentele en suprasegmentele kenmerke van spraakklanke. Tweedens toon dit ook die tipes uitspraakinformasie wat leksikografies relevant is vir die deeglike uiteensetting van die inligting. Alhoewel foneties-fonologiese inligting die mees algemene verskynsel in alle woordeboektipes is, is daar nietemin probleme met die aanbieding daarvan. Uit die evaluasie van Nguni woordeboeke blyk dit dat ontoereikendhede en inkonsekwensies voorkom. Dit is toe te skryf aan die gebrek aan leksikografiese beplanning en die tekort aan deeglike toepassing van leksikografiese beginsels. Dit blyk uit die ondersoek dat uitspraakinformasie 'n essensiele komponent van die woordeboekinskrywing bly. Die insluiting van foneties-fonologiese inligting verg leksikografiese beplanning wat gebaseer is op 'n linguistiese teorie primer gefokus op praktiese leksikografie. Die algemene riglyne wat in hierdie studie aangebied word dwing leksikograwe om innoverende maatreels toe te pas by die hantering van uitspraak. Die voorgestelde benaderings vir woordeboeke van die toekoms sal die toeganklikheid tot hul inhoud verhoog indien die benaderings harmonieer word. Die slotsom is dat leksikografiese produkte in die veeltalige Suid-Afrika die gesproke vorm van die verskillende tale moet dokumenteer beide as 'n algemene rekord en ook vir pedagogiese doeleindes. 'n Goeie fonologiese en fonetiese beskrywing van die amptelike tale is ook van belang veral in die ontwerpstadium van die woordeboek. Die leksikogafiese benaderings wat gevolg word in die behandeling van enige linguistiese informasie moet gegrond wees op (a) funksionele kriteria van die saamgestelde woordeboek en (b) ook op die vaardighede van die voorgestelde gebruiker.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52562
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