A series of foundation phase dictionaries for a multilingual environment

  • Rufus H. Gouws Department of Afrikaans and Dutch, Stellenbosch University
  • Danie J. Prinsloo Department of African Languages, University of Pretoria
  • Mawande Dlali Department of African Languages, University of Stellenbosch
Keywords: Foundation phase dictionaries, dictionary functions, dictionary culture, frame structure of dictionaries


The aim of this article is to reflect on the design and use of the Maskew Miller Longman series of dictionaries published in several different official languages of South Africa and aimed at learners in the foundation phase of primary school. It will be argued that when planning new dictionaries such as these, lexicographers should have the user perspective as point of departure by compiling user-friendly dictionaries suitable for the level of first-time dictionary users. Lexicographers should furthermore negotiate the position of the envisaged dictionary within a broader family of dictionaries – an approach that sees dictionary use as an integral part of a process of life-long learning, thereby establishing and promoting a dictionary culture. 


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