n Lexikos - Kamusi ya Kiswahili Sanifu, Taasisi ya Taaluma za Kiswahili (TATAKI) : book review

Volume 24, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1684-4904
  • E-ISSN: 2224-0039



A monolingual dictionary is compiled to cater for the speakers of a particular language. The need for this kind of dictionary emanates from the wider use of the language concerned and introduction of new words into that language which may give problem to the speakers. The importance of a dictionary also increases when the language is rendered into writing with different texts expressing various fields of knowledge through it. This scenario may confuse several speakers of that language who may have inadequate vocabulary to enable them understand the meaning of words in different texts. This is the scenario which encountered the Kiswahili speakers when the was compiled by Fredrick Johnson (1935). By 1970 it was realized that Johnson's dictionary had some inadequacies because it could not cope with the faster development of Kiswahili. A new dictionary had to be compiled and published in 1981 by The Institute of Swahili Research - to cater for this paucity.

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