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Terminology development in Chichewa

This page has been updated by the MaLex project.--Lars Hellan 09:57, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Alick Bwanali spent the Spring semester 2008 at the Institute for Language and Communication Studies at NTNU, Trondheim, Norway, sponsored by The MaLex Project

HIV and AIDS related terms and their adaptation to Chichewa - A Study in Terminology Development

Alick K. Bwanali

My research focus is the socio-linguistic aspects of terminology development in the African context. The domain I have chosen is HIV and AIDS, and my target language is Chichewa, one of the main languages spoken in Malawi. From my work as a language specialist and translator I know that it is important to understand the socio-political and socio-linguistics aspects of language change. Only on the basis of a deeper understanding of language change and terminology development will we be able to help the indigenous communities in Africa to prevent and overcome the potentially harmful aspects of language change and language adaptation.

From the traditional aspects of terminology development, I am in particular interested in the linguistic and the communicative aspect. I would like to examine the already existing linguistic forms of indigenous terms with the goal to use already existing strategies of language change and language development to inform further terminology development.

Digital tools of language documentation and natural language processing start to play an important role also in the African context. I want to make use of digital means to document terminology development in Chichewa. I have been using TypeCraft to build an annotated text collection from written material used in Malawi as part of the official anti-HIV campaign. My goal is to document and better understand the linguistic context of terminology use, and the linguistic properties of already existing terms.