Gilles-Maurice de Schryver

Gilles-Maurice de Schryver
Ghent University | UGhent · Department of Languages and Cultures

BSc, MSc, BA, MA, PhD

About

199
Publications
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Introduction
I am a professor of African linguistics at UGent, where I develop the field of Bantu Corpus Linguistics. As the author or co-author of close to 400 books, book chapters, journal articles and conference papers, I have mainly worked on Bantu corpus linguistics and lexicography. My publications also include award-winning dictionaries for Northern Sotho, Zulu and Xhosa, published with Oxford University Press, as well as various online dictionaries, amongst others the most popular one for Swahili.
Additional affiliations
February 2014 - present
University of Pretoria
Position
  • Extraordinary Professor
January 2010 - December 2012
University of the Western Cape
Position
  • Extraordinary Professor
October 2006 - September 2009
University of the Western Cape
Position
  • Extraordinary Professor

Publications

Publications (199)
Chapter
Full-text available
The North-Angolan Bantu language Kisikongo has a present tense (O-Rang- a; R=root) that is morphologically more marked than the future tense (O-R-a). We reconstruct how this typologically uncommon tense-marking feature came about by drawing on both historical and comparative evidence. Our diachronic corpus covers four centuries that can be subdivid...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
While there was arguably a need for multi-authored, multi-volume, metalexicographic handbooks three decades ago — when the field of metalexicography was still ‘young’ — it is a bit puzzling to make sense of the current output-flurry in this field. Is it simply a matter of ‘every publisher trying to fill its shelves’? or is there really a need in th...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper looks at whether, after two decades of corpus building for the Bantu languages, the time is ripe to begin using monitor corpora. As a proof-of-concept, the usefulness of a Lusoga monitor corpus for lexicographic purposes, in casu for the detection of neologisms, both in terms of new words and new meanings, is investigated and found usefu...
Conference Paper
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This paper presents some theoretical and methodological issues emanating from the building of Dicionário Paraolímpico (Paralympic Dictionary), an online lexicographical resource that will describe the lexicon of Paralympic sports in Portuguese and English, structured according to the notion of semantic frame. It follows the lead of previous works p...
Conference Paper
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Online dictionaries may be seamlessly ‘tracked’ through a study of server log files. These do not even need to be customised as one can get a long way by simply crunching the data contained in default Web analytic reports. A recent example of the power of doing so may be found in de Schryver et al. (2019). Both AWStats (2000-2021) and Google Analyt...
Article
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This article employs a 4-million-word diachronic corpus to examine how the expression of possibility has evolved in Luganda since the 1890s to the present, by focusing on the language’s three main potential markers -yînz-, -sóból- and -andi- , and their historical interaction. It is shown that while the auxiliary -yînz- originally covered the whole...
Article
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- Supplementary Material 1: Brief overview of definitions and typologies for modality as found in the literature - Supplementary Material 2: Raw frequency facts that underlie Figures 5, 6, 9, 10, 13 and 14
Conference Paper
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Although still underused in Digital Lexicography, log-files analysis has great potential for empirical dictionary-use research through free implicit feedback and unobtrusive monitoring (de Schryver & Joffe 2004). In the context of revising and improving Dicionário Olímpico (Chishman and colleagues 2016), a log-files analysis using AWStats (2000-201...
Conference Paper
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Compiling a dictionary is more than developing contents; it requires, first and foremost, planning. Among the decisions that must be made during the dictionary-planning or pre- lexicographical stage (Atkins & Rundell 2008: 18-44), one of the most important is the user- profile definition, which is the key for creating a lexicographical resource tha...
Article
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In the Bantu language Kirundi (JD62), the verbal prefix oo- has traditionally been described as either conditional or potential. In this article, we show by means of a corpus-based analysis of its uses that it is first and foremost a modal prefix, and its conditional use is only a secondary development. ------------ Dans la langue bantoue kirundi (...
Article
Full-text available
The North-Angolan Bantu language Kisikongo has a present tense (Ø-R-ang-a; R = root) that is morphologically more marked than the future tense (Ø-R-a ). We reconstruct how this typologically uncommon tense-marking feature came about by drawing on both historical and comparative evidence. Our diachronic corpus covers four centuries that can be subdi...
Article
Full-text available
In this article we discuss the use of Swahili terminology in the field of linguistics. In particular, we are interested in finding out whether the rules laid out by scholars in the scientific literature for the creation of terminological neologisms in Swahili correspond with actual practice. In order to do this, three steps are taken. In Step 1 we...
Article
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This article reports on the analysis of three major markers of necessity in Luganda, i.e. the modal auxiliaries -téekw- and -lina and the verbal prefix -andi-. On the basis a 4-million-word corpus it is argued that, overall, the auxiliary -téekw- is more established as a necessity marker, as it is involved in the expression of all necessity sub-cat...
Article
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In this contribution Rove Chishman and Bruna da Silva present questions to the President of the European Association for Lexicography, Gilles-Maurice de Schryver. In answering, G-M de Schryver calls a spade a spade: No, there is no theory of lexicography, but yes, there is a future for lexicographers. For that future to be bright, lexicographers wi...
Article
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In an earlier publication it was claimed that there is no useful relationship between Swahili-English dictionary look-up frequencies and the occurrence frequencies for the same wordforms in Swahili-English corpora, at least not beyond the top few thousand wordforms. This result was challenged using data for German by a different team of researchers...
Article
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This article is the first in a trilogy that deals with corpus-driven Bantu lexicography, which is illustrated for Lusoga. The focus here is on the building of a so-called 'organic corpus' from scratch, while the next two instalments will deal with the use of that corpus on the macrostructural and microstructural levels, respectively. Not many detai...
Article
Full-text available
This article is the second in a trilogy that deals with corpus-driven Bantu lexicography, which is illustrated for Lusoga. The focus here is on the macrostructure and in particular on the building of a lemmatised frequency list directly within a dictionary-writing system. The programming code for the parts of the lemmatisation that may be automated...
Article
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This article is the third instalment in a trilogy of studies that deal with corpus-driven Bantu lexicography as applied to Lusoga. Having dealt with corpus-building in Part 1, and macrostructural aspects in Part 2, we now focus on the microstructure of a dictionary and in particular on the concept of Mapping Meaning onto Use. The starting point is...
Chapter
Full-text available
As suggested in de Schryver et al. (2015), we believe that the major subclades of the Kikongo Language Cluster (KLC) were established long before the Kongo kingdom emerged. The historical- comparative linguistic study of the seventeenth- century Kikongo sources undertaken in this chapter will help us to further substantiate this claim. We will demo...
Article
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This article aims to give a semantic study of the reflexes of one specific tense/aspect form, namely the so-called *-a-B-a construction, in a cluster of about 40-odd Kikongo language varieties spoken in a wide area around the mouth of the Congo River in Central Africa. We first present a detailed analysis of the multiple uses of these cognate const...
Chapter
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L’ancien royaume Kongo a non seulement donné son nom au fleuve et aux deux pays modernes dont ce cours d’eau constitue une frontière naturelle, mais aussi à la langue bantoue qui fut et est toujours parlée sur son territoire. Ce qui est généralement appelé le kikongo renvoie en fait à un ensemble de plusieurs langues étroitement apparentées, plutôt...
Conference Paper
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The main idea is to compile a new type of dictionary, one to be grown as a work in progress, but to ensure a sound product at all times. This entails that attention needs to go to a number of facets: (i) Born digital. (ii) Define the target user groups. (iii) Aim for a semi-bilingual reference work. (iv) Know the users’ lemmatisation needs. (v) Let...
Article
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In this article, a comparison is made of the expression of possibility in West Nyanza Bantu languages in order to reconstruct the origins of Luganda’s two most frequent possibility markers, viz. the near-synonymous auxiliaries -sóból- and -yînz-. Earlier Luganda diachronic corpus-driven analyses showed that -yînz- has been involved in expressing al...
Article
This article offers a synchronic and diachronic analysis of the use and meaning of the verbal prefix-andi-in the Great Lakes Bantu language Luganda (JE15). On the basis of a text corpus of 4 million tokens, we show that the prefix, commonly described as a conditional marker, is primarily involved in the expression of modal meanings, specifically de...
Article
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This paper presents an overview of the tone system of Lower Nyole (LN), a moribund and previously unrecognized variety of Nyole (JE35) spoken in southern Busoga. After providing a preliminary study of tonal patterns in nouns, we show that LN has a ‘reversive’ tone system with two tonal classes of verbs – (i) verbs which are underlyingly toneless an...
Article
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Résumé La présente étude concerne l’évolution sémantique et formelle d’un adverbe épistémique du kirundi
Article
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This article offers a distributional corpus analysis of the Northern Sotho noun and gender system. The aim is twofold: first, to assess whether the existing descriptions of the noun class system in Northern Sotho are corroborated by information provided by the analysis of a large electronic corpus for this language, with specific reference to singu...
Article
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It is shown how past lexicostatistic efforts eventually led to lexically-driven phylogenetic classifications of the Bantu languages. As a new case study, 95 NorthWest and West Bantu language varieties are sampled across geographical space, with a focus on the wider Lower Congo region. This leads to the discovery of a discrete clade within West-Coas...
Article
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Across Bantu, several polysemic markers expressing progressive aspect and so-called predication focus have been reported (Güldemann 2003; Hyman and Watters 1984). In this article, we examine two such markers in Kikongo (Bantu, H16), i.e. the fronted-infinitive and the locative-infinitive constructions. We provide an in-depth synchronic description...
Article
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In this article a little-known dictionary manuscript from the 1930s, the Lexique kikongo-français by the Jesuit missionary Charles Polis, is analysed in great detail. Section 1 expounds on the goal and raison d'être of the study, Section 2 introduces the manuscript, its author as well as the Kikongo variety dealt with, Section 3 presents the inner...
Article
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In this article we reconstruct the actuation and transmission of a phonological innovation known as prefix reduction within the Kikongo language cluster situated in the wider Lower Congo region of Central Africa. We argue that this change spread from a focal area coinciding with the heartland of the Kongo kingdom as a classical process of dialectal...
Article
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We present results, analyses, and an in-depth historical contextualization of the fieldwork undertaken in 2012 and 2013 at the Kindoki site in the Lower Congo (DRC). This site is linked to Mbanza Nsundi, one of the Kongo Kingdom’s provincial capitals, which turns out to be archaeologically ‘elusive’. Pinpointing its location proved to be particular...
Article
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Nous présentons ici les résultats des fouilles archéologiques entreprises à Kindoki (Bas-Congo/RDC) en 2012-2013. Ce site est associé à Mbanza Nsundi, l’une des capitales provinciales du royaume Kongo. Localiser ses vestiges archéologiques s’est avéré être un vrai défi. Pour ce faire, nous avons développé une méthodologie de fouilles qui s’inspire...
Article
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Ngongo Mbata, the main and most affluent center of the Kongo kingdom’s Mbata province in the seventeenth century, is well known from the historical sources, but virtually unexplored in archaeological publications. Ngongo Mbata is unique in that it hosted a monumental stone building about which the historical record remains silent. This makes it par...
Book
Note to the second edition: This is a new, revised edition, now with an additional 14-page Zulu grammar in Zulu as well as 13 pages with 280 everyday conversations.
Article
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This contribution examines the digital revolution in lexicography from the perspective of the dictionary user. We begin with an observation that in the information age the status of the dictionary is changing, and so are patterns of user behaviour, with general internet search engines encroaching on the grounds traditionally reserved for lexicograp...
Article
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In this article the semantic evolution of the modal verb -sobol- in Luganda is examined through the analysis of a diachronic corpus spanning the last 120 years. It is shown that the usage frequency of this verb increased exponentially between the early 20th century and the present, and that its use as a lexical verb has dramatically decreased durin...
Book
This book is a story of the triumph of idealism over adversity. It recounts, in their own words and the words of their family and associates, the history of three Ugandans who in the 1950–60s forged an unbreakable bond as student leaders in the Indian Subcontinent and went on to become political leaders in Uganda. The three men are Kirunda Kivejinj...
Article
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This article recounts the genesis, growth and turbulent events that accompanied the compilation of the Eiwanika ly'Olusoga, that is, the Monolingual Lusoga Dictionary. Contrasting academia with the trade, legacy with state-of the-art dictionary compilation software, high praise and visibility with daily and down-to-earth drudgery, it recounts the e...
Article
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In this article we explore the possibility of amalgamating the semasiological (i.e. alphabetical), onomasiological (i.e. conceptual) and visual approaches to dictionary compilation, here termed an alphaconceptual+ (i.e. alphaconceptual 'plus') dictionary, using Luganda as a brief case study. Such a dictionary would combine the strong points of alph...
Article
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This article offers an in-depth historical-comparative linguistic account of the origin and etymology of ngangula. This term is not only a widespread blacksmith term in the Lower Congo region, but also a traditional royal Kongo title attesting to the importance of the blacksmith metaphor in Kongo political ideology. Popular etymology has it that ng...
Article
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In order to understand the origins of the Kongo kingdom, the KongoKing research group conducted a first survey in the area usually regarded as the former kingdom’s provincial capital sites of Mbanza Nsundi and Mbanza Mbata in the Lower Congo Province of the DRC during the summer of 2012. Several test excavations and radiocarbon dates are starting t...
Article
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Two dedicated lexicographic corpora are presented. The first contains all the material published in IJL to date—the English component 3.5 million words strong, with a time-depth of twenty-five years. The second contains the English contents from all the major lexicographic journals, manuals, encyclopaedias, conference proceedings and some books—16....
Article
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In this article, the oldest Bantu dictionary hitherto known is explored, that is the Vocabularium Latinum, Hispanicum, e Congense, handed down to us through a manuscript from 1652 by the Flemish Capuchin Joris van Gheel, missionary in the Kongo (present-day north-western Angola and the southern part of the Lower Congo Province of the DRC). The manu...
Article
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This article is a first systematic study of the expression of possibility in Kirundi, more specifically of its verbal markers. Possibility is traditionally seen as one of the core components of the semantic domain of modality. The onomasiological approach of this modal sub-domain has resulted in the identification of four verbal potential markers,...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This year marks the fifteenth edition of the highly successful EURALEX congresses. In honour of this crystal jubilee, all major protagonists and topics of the fifteen congresses to date are reviewed, cross-compared with one another, and plotted through time. Three different databases were built to this intent: First, a EURALEX metadata database, co...
Presentation
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Annual Report by the President @ AFRILEX 2012
Article
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Despite some heroic efforts over the past few years, Lusoga remains mostly underde-veloped. It is under continuous pressure from more prestigious languages, such as the neighbour-ing Luganda and especially the only official language in Uganda, English. Lusoga is undergoing rapid language shifts, with new concepts entering the language daily. Ironic...
Article
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Human language technology (HLT) has been identified as a priority area by the South African government. However, despite efforts by government and the research and development (R&D) community, South Africa has not yet been able to maximise the opportunities ...
Article
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Research in machine translation and corpus annotation has greatly benefited from the increasing availability of word-aligned parallel corpora. This paper presents ongoing research on the development and application of the sawa corpus, a two-million-word parallel corpus English—Swahili. We describe the data collection phase and zero in on the diffic...
Presentation
Full-text available
Annual Report by the President @ AFRILEX 2011