Although, to a great extent, research has been done on pictorial illustrations in other text types, research into their use in dictionaries has been relatively limited. This study looks at the inclusion of pictorial illustrations in dictionaries with a special emphasis on African Language dictionaries. Ostensive addressing is an important lexicographic tool as it aids the lexicographer in conveying all the necessary details of the lemma and thus go a long way in making the dictionary a useful resource. In African Language dictionaries in particular, this is a good technique to express several of the concepts that probably do not have an equivalent in another language or are culture-specific. This can be attributed to the fact that the use of illustrations not only saves much needed space but also aids the lexicographer in defining the lemma thus leaving little room for misinterpretation. A survey of the African language dictionaries reveals that very few of these dictionaries do actually employ pictorial illustrations. This study argues that lexicographers need to consider this technique as an important element of dictionary compilation.
Thesis (MA (African Languages))--University of Pretoria, 2004.