ALRI’s Dr. Chabata discusses dictionary projects

Updated: November 11, 2012

On Friday 26 October, Dr. Emmanuel Chabata joined a group of young Kalanga speakers in Bulawayo to share the experience of the African Languages Research Institute in lexicography projects.  Chabata, director of ALRI at the University of Zimbabwe, described the development of dictionaries in Zimbabwe starting with the work of ALLEX in the 1990s.

A senior member of the Kalanga community is currently working on a Kalanga-English dictionary. When the draft is ready in early 2013, it will be reviewed by others, with the hope of publication in 2013.

ALRI’s approach to lexicography is based on collecting texts into a corpus, which can then be used to study the context and frequency of words and phrases. The institute already has a partial corpus for Kalanga but looks forward to expanding it as Kalanga publications increase.  ALRI is now looking for qualified scholars who can lead projects in the local languages of Zimbabwe.


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