Original Articles

Terminography in African languages in South Africa

Published in: South African Journal of African Languages
Volume 8, issue 4, 1988 , pages: 109–113
DOI: 10.1080/02572117.1988.10586760
Author(s): PriscillaN. MtintsilanaLexicology Division, Republic of South Africa, Rose MorrisLexicology Division, Republic of South Africa


The various ways in which terminologies are being developed in African languages in South Africa are surveyed and the methodological and other problems endemic in the present situation are analysed. Term-development processes such as derivation, semantic transfer, deideophonization, paraphrase, compounding, and borrowing are discussed and standardization problems are outlined. Historico-political developments in South Africa have led to a situation of unco-ordinated efforts to satisfy the ever-increasing need for new terms in the African languages, and to a consequent lack of consensus on methodological principles. The purpose in analysing these problems is to provide information and proposals which may contribute to some amelioration of the situation.

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