On the 20th of August I had the privilege of attending a virtual seminar that was hosted by Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB).
As a language researcher specializing in one of South Africa’s indigenous languages, isiXhosa, I knew and understood the benefits of such a webinar. The webinar was focused at encouraging and motivating women to continue to write stories in their mother tongue. It is not secret that the use of our indigenous languages is one that is very limited in South Africa. Therefore, a webinar of this calibre not only promotes the importance of writing, but it also promoted the use of our indigenous South African languages.
The opening remarks were by Mrs Preetha Dabideen who is the Deputy Chairperson of the Pan South African Language Board. She took us through the work PanSALB is doing and the importance a webinar of this nature has in enriching women, not just in writing but in general, and how PanSALB aims to continue motivating and supporting women through their different projects and initiatives.
This blog is about the historical background of Xitsonga lexicography. It displays the various writers who contributed to Xitsonga's lexicography. It also highlights the gaps that still remain in the lexicography of Xitsonga.
Vutshila bya vutsari bya dikixinari byi sungurile malembendzhaku ku fana na vutsari byin’wana. Ku vile na matsalwa lama tumbuluxiweke tanihi masungulo ma vutsari bya dikixinari eka tindzimi to hambanahambana ta misava. Eka Xitsonga, dikixinari yo sungula ya Xitsonga yi kandziyisiwile hi lembe ra 1907 leyi vuriwaka English-Tsonga Dictionary na Tsonga-English Dictionary Pocket Dictionary. Ku sukela loko yi kandziyisiwile dikixinari leyi yi kumekile yi antswisiwa ko hlaya naswona ro hetelela hi loko yi ta antwisiwa na ku kandziyisiwa hi va ka Sasavona Publishers and Booksellers hi lembe ra 2008. Mhaka nkoka hi dikixinari leyi hileswaku endzhaku ko antwisiwa hi va ka Sasavona Publishers and Booksellers yi kumekile yi engeteriwile swiphemu swa nkoka swa ntivoririmi leswi eka nkandziyiso wo sungula a swi nga ri kona.
Hi 1967, Cuenod u yile emahlweni a hluvukisa vutsari bya tidikixinari eka Xitsonga hi ku kandziyisa dikixinari ya tindzimi timbirhi leyi tivekaka hi Tsonga-English Dictionary. Mutsari un’wana loyi a hoxeke xandla eka vutsari bya tidikixinari eka Xitsonga i K.B. Hartshone hi 1983, yena u tsarile dikixinari leyi yi thyiweke Dictionary of Basic English leyi yi nga tsariwa marito hi Xinghezi lama nga tlhela ma hlamuseriwa hi Xitsonga. Vatsari lava boxiweke laha henhla hinkwavo a hi vinyi va ririmi leri ra Xitsonga.
Ku cinca lokukulu eka vutsari bya tidikixinari eka Xitsonga ku sungurile ku va kona hi 2005 loko ku tsariwa dikixinari ya tindzimi timbirhi ku nga Xitsonga-Xinghezi Dikixinari hi vaXitsonga National Lexicography Unit (XNLU) leyi yi nga kandziyisiwa hi va Phumelela Books. Hi 2014 vaXitsonga National Lexicography Unit (XNLU) va tlherile va tsala yin’wana dikixinari leyi yona yi nga kandziyisiwa hi va Lingua Franca. Leyi dikixinari i ya ririmi rin’we ku nga Xitsonga naswona hi yona dikixinari yo sungula ya ririmi rin’we eka Xitsonga.
Hi lembe ra 2016 Marhanele, M.M. na Bila V va tsarile dikixinari ririmi rin’we leyi thyiweke Tihlungu ta Rixaka leyi yi kandziyisiwile hi Timbila Poetry Project na Bila Publishers and Communications. Mhaka ya nkoka hi dikixinari leyi i ku va yi nghenisiwile tilema to hlaya leti a ti pfumaleka eka tidikixinari leti rhangeke ti kandziyisiwa. Nkandziyiso wa dikixinari leyi wu voniwile ku ri ku humelela lokukulu eka ku lwisana na nhluvukiso wa Xitsonga hitlhelo ra vutsari bya tidikixinari.
Xo hetelela, vutsari bya tidikixinari eka Xitsonga bya ha salele endzhaku swinene. Leswi swi va tano hikwalaho ka leswi nhlayo ya tidikixinari leti kandziyisiweke yi nga hansi swinene ngopfu naswona ka ha ri na pfumaleko wa le henhla wa tidikixinari leti katsaka tindzimi to hundza timbirhi.
IsiNdebele and Sesotho are two of the eleven South African official languages. They are distinct and belong to different language clusters within the Niger Congo consortium of languages. IsiNdebele is one of the four Nguni languages: Siswati, isiZulu and isiXhosa. While, Sesotho forms part of the three Sotho languages: Sepedi and Setswana. IsiNdebele and Sesotho are not only from two different ethnic groups but they are also orthographically different. IsiNdebele as a Nguni language is conjunctively written, meaning that the language joins morphemes to form phrases or sentences like in the following example: ‘I love you’ is written as one word ‘ngiyakuthanda’. “These languages are basically agglutinating in nature since prefixes and suffixes are used extensively in word formation” (Taljard and Bosch 2006:429). While in Sesotho the same phrase is written as ‘ke a o rata’ which is disjunctively written. Taljard and Bosch (2006:429) share more about these aspects in their article titled, ‘A Comparison of Approaches to Word Class Tagging: Disjunctively vs. Conjunctively Written Bantu Languages’.
“Both these languages belong to a larger grouping of languages, i.e. the Sotho and Nguni language groups respectively. Languages belonging to the same language group are closely related and to a large extent mutually intelligible.” (Taljard and Bosch 2006:429)
Language is a vehicle through which gender sensitivity is expressed. According to (Wodak, 1997) gender concerns the psychological, social and cultural differences between males and females. Gender refers to the fact of being male or female while gender sensitivity is the state of being aware of what society thinks about of being male and female. IsiZulu words like ubuntu/humanity and abantu/people show respect to gender sensitivity because they address both genders without singling out or giving any preference to any gender in isiZulu. Early writings presumably influenced by traditional forms of words that have sexist connotations are now often replaced by terms that are neutral in gender. For instance, in the English tradition the use of the word Ms has increased instead of the traditional Mrs or Miss and chairperson instead of chairman. These labels that are used reflect social attitudes and shapes how social structures and relationships are perceived.