The dictionary is the core reference object of a language. It is used to learn and understand the lexicon of languages. Speakers acquire and develop knowledge of the language through its lexicon. Ewe speakers are not an exception. Ewe dictionaries are their main reference works and it emerges from our research that more than a dozen dictionaries have been produced in Ewe. However, many of them have not survived and exist only in bibliographical references. Many others are quite rare. In general, Ewe dictionaries are difficult for the public to acquire or access.
This dissertation presents the theoretical study of the Ewe dictionary and has three parts. In the first part, we provide a geolinguistic and sociolinguistic overview of Ewe language. In the second, we consider many theoretical and methodological frameworks to define the word “dictionary” and all related concepts. In the third part, we provide a scientific study of Ewe dictionaries. We begin by adopting a metalexographic perspective to compare the lexicographical works that currently exist. Published between 1857 and 1995, most dictionaries of Ewe are the work of missionaries who made many errors in their analyses largely because they were not native speakers of the language. We note that Ewe dictionaries need to be modernized and the number of entries increased to reflect current usage. We then identify and discuss the numerous social, political, and economic issues that have stood in the way and must be addressed for dictionary production to move forward.
The lack of a dictionary in Ewe is a both a linguistic deficiency and a challenge for native speakers. It is important to meet this challenge by updating or making new dictionaries in Ewe and to make them accessible to speakers of Ewe.
|Advisor:||Fox, Cynthia A.|
|Commitee:||Brière, Éloïse A., Sayahi, Lotfi|
|School:||State University of New York at Albany|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Linguistics, African Studies, Language|
|Keywords:||Dictionnaire/dictionary, Lexicographie/lexicography, Métalexicographie/metalexicography, Problématique/problematic, Éwé|
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