n Lexikos - Etymological aspects of idiomatic and proverbial expressions in the lexicographic development of Sesotho sa Leboa - a semantic analysis : lexiconotes

Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1684-4904
  • E-ISSN: 2224-0039



Idiomatiese en spreekwoordelike uitdrukkings is belangrike komponente van die mondelinge tradisie van Sesotho sa Leboa en gevolglik skyn die letterlike betekenis van woorde soos hulle in woordeboeke voorkom sonder insluiting van hul figuurlike betekenis, 'n tekortkoming te wees. 'n Idioom of spreekwoord besit een basiese betekenis, d.i. die betekenis waarna die idoom of spreekwoord bedoel is om basies te verwys, maar elke idioom of spreekwoord bestaan uit verskeie leksikale items. Hierdie leksikale items het elk sy eie betekenis wat gewoonlik verskil van die figuurlike betekenis van die idioom of spreekwoord. Selfs al skyn die betekenis van die woorde in 'n idiomatiese of spreekwoordelike uitdrukking te verskil van die idioom of spreekwoord, is daar in sekere mate 'n verwantskap. Dit is hierdie verwantskap wat leksikograwe kan help om in hul definisies te verklaar ten einde sowel die letterlike as die figuurlike betekenisse van woorde in Sesotho sa Leboa te belig.
Die doel van hierdie artikel is om die belangrikheid te beklemtoon van die besit van gespesialiseerde woordeboeke wat gebruikers uitvoerige etimologiese verklarings sal gee van idiomatiese en spreekwoordelike uitdrukkings soos in Sesotha sa Leboa gebruik. Die etimologiese ontleding van hierdie leksikale items (idiome en spreekwoorde) sal 'n beter begrip van hierdie uitdrukkings verskaf en woordeboeke met uitvoerige definisies verryk. Dit sal 'n beter begrip van die verhouding tussen die letterlike betekenisse van die uitdrukkings en hul werklike (d.i. figuurlike) betekenisse bewerkstellig.

Idiomatic and proverbial expressions are important components of the oral tradition of Sesotho sa Leboa, and therefore a knowledge of the literal meaning of words as they appear in dictionaries without inclusion of their figurative meaning seems to be a shortcoming. An idiom or a proverb possesses one basic meaning, i.e. the meaning to which the idiom or proverb is basically meant to refer, but each idiom or proverb is made up of several lexical items. Each of these lexical items has its own meaning, which usually differs from the figurative sense of the idiom or proverb. Even though the meaning of the words in an idiomatic or proverbial expression seems to differ from the sense of the idiom or proverb, there is to a certain extent a relationship. It is this relationship which lexicographers can assist to explain in their definitions in order to clarify both the literal and the figurative meanings of words in Sesotho sa Leboa.

This article aims to stress the importance of having specialized dictionaries which will give users detailed etymological explanations of the meaning of idiomatic and proverbial expressions as used in Sesotho sa Leboa. The etymological analysis of the meaning of these lexical items (idioms and proverbs) will provide a better understanding of these expressions and enrich dictionaries with detailed definitions. This will create a better understanding of the relationship between the literal meanings of the expressions and their real (i.e. figurative) meanings.

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