The impact of lexicographical work on language use: The case of shona monolingual dictionaries in Zimbabwe
This article examines the impact of current lexicographical work in Zimbabwe on some sectors of Shona language use, namely education, media, medicine and local government. It looks specifically at Shona monolingual lexicographical projects completed by the African Languages Research Institute (ALRI),. successor to the African Languages Lexical Project (ALLEX). It analyses how users of Shona in these particular sectors are responding to the different lexicographical products published by ALRI. The article maintains that Shona monolingual lexicography has resulted in language raising and awareness. It has also led to term creation and has contributed towards standardisation of the language. Shona has furthermore gained the abstractive power it needs to explain its own and other concepts. All these have caused diglossia leakage from Low (L) Shona to High (H) Shona in some areas of Shona language usage. The overall effect is that Shona is now used in some formal sectors such as the above-mentioned ones which previously were the preserve of English in Zimbabwe.