This is the ‘Dagbani Dictionary’ not the ‘GILLBT Dagbani Dictionary’ or the ‘Tony Naden Dagbani
Dictionary’: a dictionary grows from the cooperative work of successive compilers.
There are 25 names on my list of data sources in the basic database (some represent groups or
committees), many more are the names of those who have contributed to the on-going project by
organisation, encouragement, finance or by adding, challenging or checking words, spellings and
formatting and the technical aspects of production.

I usually refer mainly to those who have produced major stages of the Dictionary, from the foundational
work of E. Foster Tamakloe whose material and schema still shapes the work, via John Chernoff
(assemblage and keyboarding of early material), Fr. Maurice Pageault (list of verbs), Roger Blench,
Knut Olawsky (field dictionary), and Ibrahim Mahama (printed dictionary).
My own development of the Dictionary has covered 4 main aspects:
• Bringing in content from the lists of Pageault, Blench, Olawsky and Mahama, and such minor
sources as Irvine’s book on trees.
• Adding plentiful examples from the published literature to illustrate the forms and usage of each
word for which they could be found. Many new words also came out of this process: I have
attempted to ensure ‘closure’ (no word in an example which does not have an entry).
• Roughing out the outlines of distinguishing of similar words as separate homophonous entries
(words that just accidentally sound the same), labelled with subscript numerals (e.g. di1’don’t!’,
di2 ‘eat’, di3 ‘it’), and within the entries between different numbered senses
• Adding numerous lexicographical features of a full dictionary as opposed to a wordlist or
vocabulary – cross-references to words of similar meaning or form, expressions and collocations,
etymologies and sources of borrowed words, scientific name of animal and plant species, and in
the underlying database source of data, pictures, thesaurus keys and semantic indices.
The main repository is a full database which can be accessed by the TOOLBOX database program, or,
because of the comparatively non-intrusive Standard Format markup tags, used in any text editor and
adapted to your preferred database program.
There are fields there which are not present in this version, and the database softwares will make it
possible for other selections from the data to be made to make dictionaries for specialist needs.

Tony Naden, 2014