Advocacy for a Creole lexicography of high scientific quality
Published in Haiti in Le National on December 14, 2021
THE NEED TO PROMOTE A CREOLE LEXICOGRAPHY OF HIGH SCIENTIFIC QUALITY AND TO SUBMIT TO CRITICAL ANALYSIS AND PUBLIC DEBATE ANY FANCIFUL, STUNTED AND AMATEURISH CREOLE PSEUDO « LEXICOGRAPHIC MODEL » CONTRARY TO THE METHODOLOGY OF PROFESSIONAL LEXICOGRAPHY.
Following the publication in Haiti, in Le National of November 11, 2021, of my article entitled « De l’usage du créole dans l’apprentissage scolaire en Haïti : qu’en savons vraiment? I have received various comments confirming that there is a community of opinion between many teachers working in Haiti and myself. This community of opinion relates to the various problems raised by the use of Creole in school learning and to the need for a real didactic qualification for teaching in the Creole mother tongue. However, one of my interlocutors asked me to clarify my thoughts on the linguistic situation in Haiti, particularly with regard to the production of teaching materials in Creole. The answer to this request is a plea for a Creole lexicography of high scientific quality, and this plea is addressed to teachers, linguists, didacticians, school principals, textbook editors and publishers, as well as to the executives of the Ministry of National Education. It is also addressed to Haitian institutions that defend citizens’ rights and to anyone interested in the Haitian language issue.
In line with the publication in 2011 of the reference book « L’aménagement linguistique en Haïti : enjeux, défis et propositions » (Berrouët-Oriol et al., Éditions de l’Université d’État d’Haïti and Éditions du Cidihca), I published in 2018 the book « Plaidoyer pour les droits linguistiques en Haïti / Pledwaye pou dwa lenguistik ann Ayiti » (Éditions Zémès and Éditions du Cidihca). Subsequently, I coordinated and co-authored in 2021 the collective book « La didactisation du créole au cœur de l’aménagement linguistique en Haïti » (Éditions Zémès and Éditions du Cidihca). Since 2015, in order to promote a unifying vision of language planning in Haiti, I regularly publish in Haiti, in the newspaper Le National, articles of linguistic popularization in which I address different facets of language planning in the country: linguistic rights, the right to the Creole mother tongue in the Haitian School, lexicography, dictionnary, the production of quality didactic material in Creole, jurilinguistics, state language policy, educational language policy, etc.
As a linguist-terminologist specializing in linguistic planning, in my books and through my articles for the general public, I therefore propose a unifying and coherent vision of the simultaneous planning of Creole and French in Haiti. This vision is based on language sciences and jurilinguistics and it institutes a rigorous plea for the elaboration of a state linguistic policy statement and that of the educational linguistic policy, the didactization of Creole, the production of high quality didactic material in Creole, the training of teachers in Creole didactics and the legal framework of the development of our two official languages.
With regard to the production of didactic material in Creole (or for Creole) and by opening the reflection to the lexicography of the regional French of Haiti, I exposed, in several articles, the measurable achievements of the contemporary Haitian lexicography by highlighting in particular the works of high scientific quality of Pradel Pompilus, André Vilaire Chery and Renauld Govain. I have also submitted for critical analysis two Creole lexicographic productions that can seriously handicap the teaching of Creole as a mother tongue because of their great methodological weaknesses and/or because of their fixation on amateurism, fantasy and ignorance of the methodology of lexicography. Here are some of the articles I have published in Haiti and overseas on the different facets of the use of Creole in school learning in Creole mother tongue and on the contribution of André Vilaire Chery to Haitian lexicography for the regional French of Haiti: « De l’usage du créole dans l’apprentissage scolaire en Haïti: qu’en savons vraiment? Jean Pruvost and the making of dictionaries, a model for Haitian lexicography »; « The lexicographical treatment of Creole in Emmanuel W. Védrine’s ‘Leksik kreyòl' »; « The treatment of Creole in the ‘Leksik kreyòl' »; « The treatment of Creole in the ‘Leksik kreyòl Védrine »; « The lexicographical treatment of Creole in the « Diksyonè kreyòl Vilsen »; « About the « Dictionnaire de l’évolution du vocabulaire français en Haïti d’André Vilaire Chéry »; « The lexicographical treatment of Creole in the « Glossary of STEM terms from the MIT – Haïti Initiative »; « Creole dictionaries and lexicons: should they be elaborated in a dilettante way or according to scientific criteria? Dictionaries and lexicons: should they be developed in a dilettante way or according to scientific criteria? »; « Dictionaries and Creole lexicons, important pedagogical tools in Haitian education »; « Teaching science and technology in Creole mother tongue: a multifaceted challenge »; « Creole/French partnership – Advocacy for a bilingualism of linguistic rights equity in Haiti ».
In addition to these articles on linguistic popularization, I have published a study in the reference book « La didactisation du créole au cœur de l’aménagement linguistique en Haïti » (Berrouët-Oriol et al., Éditions du Cidihca and Éditions Zémès, 382 pages, May 2021). This study is entitled « La néologie scientifique et technique, un indispensable auxiliaire de la didactisation du créole haïtien » (pages 19 to 50). The studies contained in this book, written by specialists from different backgrounds, are of high analytical quality and all shed light on the essential need for the didactization of Creole.
Haitian lexicography and its contemporary issues
For the reader who is not a linguist and who is not familiar with the field of lexicography and the didactic role it plays through the use of dictionaries and lexicons in school learning, it is useful to define upstream what lexicography is. Termium Plus, the Canadian federal government’s computerized terminology dictionary, defines lexicography as follows: « The collection and study of words in their form and meaning for the purpose of developing language dictionaries. The Ortolang dictionary of the Centre national de ressources textuelles et lexicales de France (CNRTL) assigns a relatively narrower definition to lexicography which, with the use of the term « technique », emphasizes the methodological dimension of lexicographic work, the objective of which is the creation of dictionaries and lexicons: « Technique de confection des dictionnaires » (technique of creating dictionaries), « Réalisation de lexiques, de dictionnaire » (creation of lexicons and dictionaries). This definition is similar to that of the famous French lexicologist Alain Rey, director of the Le Robert dictionaries for some fifty years, according to whom « Lexicography is understood to mean the techniques used since the 17th century (not to mention the flood) and still today in the making of dictionaries » (Alain Rey, « Le lexique : images et modèles », Paris, Colin, 1977, p. 99). Although the two terms lexicography and lexicology are sometimes given the same meaning, these two fields of linguistics are nevertheless distinct. Lexicology is the field of linguistics that deals with words considered in relation to their value, to their etymologies; in other words, it is the study of the meaning of the units that constitute the lexicon of a language. As for lexicography, whose methodological criteria have been strongly structured over the years, it has truly established itself as the science of lexicon and dictionary development. The arrival of computer resources and automatic language processing systems has given rise to dictionnary and digital lexicography.
In the article I published in Le National on December 9, 2021, « La valse des anglicismes dans la presse écrite en Haïti et la problématique des emprunts : pistes de réflexion » (The waltz of anglicisms in the Haitian print media and the problem of borrowing: avenues for reflection), I showed that Haitian lexicography, although quite young, benefited from the pioneering work of Pradel Pompilus. In the field of lexicography, the path that he traced from the early 1950s was enriched by the contributions of young teacher-researchers, notably linguists André Vilaire Chery and Renauld Govain. Pradel Pompilus instituted, in the diverse field of the humanities in Haiti, a true « epistemological break » — in the sense of the philosopher Louis Althusser –, against a certain Haitian tradition that privileged the narrative of identity and the talkative and reductive cult of a glorious past to the detriment of scientific methods in the study of social and historical facts (see the study of the philosopher Étienne Balibar, « Le concept de » coupure épistémologique » de Gaston Bachelard à Louis Althusser » published in « Écrits pour Althusser », Éditions La Découverte, Paris, 1991). Pradel Pompilus’ lexicological and lexicographical thinking, in the depths of his work, irrigates the Haitian lexicographical approach to this day in strict conformity with the methodological foundations of dictionary development. This methodological foundation is at the heart of the lexicographer’s work and the present plea for a Creole lexicography of high scientific quality is based on it. This methodological base, which is the foundation of the elaboration and analytical evaluation of dictionaries and lexicons, includes several related layers that are articulated as follows: the field survey, the determination of the reference nomenclature, the determination of the target audience of the dictionary, the establishment of the corpus to be analyzed, the linguistic rules governing the analysis of the selected terms, their grammatical and lexical categorization, their definition, the phrasal contexts of the use of the terms, the explanatory notes, the system of analogical references, the whole constituting what is called an « article » or a « rubric » in a dictionary. The following are examples of lexicographic records given in the form of summary information:
Example of modeling a lexicographic record for the term « artificial intelligence »
Source: OQLF, 2017 and CELF, 2018
Featured term (or « entry ») Grammatical category
Source and dating
A theoretical and practical interdisciplinary field that has as its object the understanding of mechanisms of cognition and thinking, and their imitation by hardware and software device, for the purpose of assisting or substituting human activities.
Commission d’enrichissement de la langue française (France), FranceTerme, 2018
Field of study having as its object the artificial reproduction of the cognitive faculties of human intelligence for the purpose of creating systems or machines capable of performing functions normally pertaining to it.
Office québécois de la langue française, 2017
Supplementary sheet for the term « artificial intelligence
Technical Note 1
Marvin Minsky defining the term artificial intelligence as « the construction of computer programs that engage in tasks that are, for the time being, more satisfactorily accomplished by human beings because they require high-level mental processes such as: perceptual learning, memory organization, and critical reasoning. » (Editor: CPO, 2021)
Technical Note 2
This definition was given by Marvin Lee Minsky. He was a scientist and co-founder with computer scientist John McCarthy of the CSAIL (Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory), the artificial intelligence group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). These two scientists are considered the founding fathers of artificial intelligence and the ones who democratized the term. (Editor: CPO, 2021)
This model of lexicographic card written according to the device of the methodological base of professional lexicography responds to the need to construct each of the dictionary headings according to the same conceptual model and to introduce mandatory and binding informational fields, which makes the dictionary a stable, homogeneous and easily consultable work. This methodological inscription responds to the nature and objectives of the work, which are to describe and define the words of the language at a given stage and in a historical sequence identified by the dating of the term.
Example of a lexicographic record for the term « pipirit”
Source: « Haitian Creole-English Bilingual Dictionary » by Albert Valdman (Indiana University, Creole Institute, 2007, p. 559).
Featured term (or « entry ») Grammatical category
Definition 1 Source and dating
name Kind of small bird HCEBD 2007
Derived and/or related terms
pipirit chandel (2), pipirit chantan (3), pipirit gri (4), pipirit gwo tèt (5), pipirit rivyè (6), pipirit tèt fou (7) // gri kou pipirit (8), sou kon pipirit (9) noun Definition 2:
Definition 3: At the crack of dawn
Context 3: Li kite kay li maten an o pipirit chantan / She left the house at dawn HCEBD 2007
As with the French term « intelligence artificielle », the Creole term « pipirit » was the subject of a lexicographic sheet following the model of the methodological foundation of professional lexicography. The information thus recorded meets the need to construct each of the dictionary headings according to the same conceptual model and to introduce obligatory and binding information fields, which makes Albert Valdman’s work the most rigorous and exhaustive modeled dictionary in contemporary Creole lexicography, and which has allowed the elaboration of a stable, homogeneous and easily consultable work.
Example of a lexicographical file for the term « moto-taxi
Source: « Dictionnaire de l’évolution du vocabulaire français en Haïti » by André Vilaire Chéry (Volume 2, Éditions Édutex, 2002), pp. 74-76.
Featured term (or « entry ») Grammatical category Definition 1 Source and dating
Neologism from Haitian French: « motorcycle used as a cab ».
Le Nouvelliste, 5/3/2001
Context of use of the term
The moto-taxi came into being during the strikes of June and July 1987. COMM. 1999
Also known as « taxi-moto » HEM, March 1999
In the nomenclature, « taxi-moto » is analogously referred to as « moto-taxi » AVC, 2002
The French term « moto-taxi » has been the subject of extensive documentary research, as evidenced by the quasi-encyclopedic information that illuminates its meaning. The analysis has shown that André Vilaire Chery’s dictionary is a high quality lexicographic work, and it was elaborated according to the model of the methodological base of professional lexicography. The information recorded in the lexicographic « articles » responds to the need to construct each of the dictionary headings according to the same conceptual model and to introduce obligatory and binding informational fields, which makes this dictionary a model, one of the most rigorous in Haitian lexicography.
While it is true that Haitian lexicography, and particularly Creole lexicography, is a young field and that it has been taught for about twenty years at the Faculty of Applied Linguistics, it must be remembered that, since the first works of Pradel Pompilus in the 1950s, it has produced few dictionaries and lexicons, and that its contemporary stakes do not yet seem to be well understood.
The lexicographical and dictionary corpus of Haitian Creole includes a limited number of titles, very rarely written solely in Creole, and they are mostly designed in bilingual editions or, more rarely, dealing with the terminology of a specific field. Thirty-four years after the co-officialization of Creole and French in the 1987 Constitution, the Haitian lexicographic corpus does not yet include a quality unilingual Creole dictionary written according to the methodology of professional lexicography. For the most part, this corpus is limited to the following documents: « Dictionnaire français-créole » by Jules Faine (Éditions Leméac, 1974); « Diksyonnè kréyòl-franse » by Lodewijik Peleman, Éditions Bon nouvèl, 1976; « Éléments de lexicographie bilingue : lexique créole-français » by Ernst Mirville (Biltin Institi lingistik apliké, Pòtoprins, no. 11: 198-273, 1979); « Leksik elektwomekanik kreyòl, franse, angle, espayòl » by Pierre Vernet and H. Tourneux (ed.), Port-au-Prince, Fakilte lengwistik aplike, Inivèsite Leta Ayiti, n.d. Haitian Creole-English Bilingual Dictionary » by Albert Valdman (Creole Institute, Indiana University, 2007); « Dictionnaire français-créole / Diksyonè kreyòl-franse » by Jocelyne Trouillot, CUC Université caraïbe, 2007; « Diksyonè kreyòl Vilsen » by Féquière Vilsaint and Maud Heurtelou, Éditions Educavision 1994 ; « Glossary of STEM terms from the MIT – Haiti Initiative » (undated but probably put online about five years ago); « Les emprunts du créole haïtien à l’anglais et à l’espagnol » by Renauld Govain (Éditions L’Harmattan, 2014). To this Creole lexicographical corpus should be added, on the side of Haitian lexicography dealing with French, André Vilaire Chéry’s « Dictionnaire de l’évolution du vocabulaire français en Haïti » (volumes 1 and 2, Éditions Édutex, 2000 and 2002). The first real lexicographical description of regional French in Haiti was made by the Haitian linguist Pradel Pompilus in his doctoral thesis defended at the Sorbonne on December 9, 1961, « La langue française en Haïti » (Paris, Institut des hautes études de l’Amérique latine – Travaux et mémoires, VII, published in 1981 by Éditions Fardin. The third part of this thesis is devoted to the lexicon of Haitian French, the « Haitianisms » according to Pompilus’ terminology. It constitutes a pioneering document, the founding act of Haitian lexicography.
The contemporary issues of Haitian lexicography, and particularly of Creole lexicography, are at the crossroads of several challenges, notably those of pedagogy and didactics. It is a question of (1) contributing to the description of Haitian Creole on the lexical level (including its diatopic dimension); (2) contributing, through the elaboration of reference works, to the pedagogical and didactic intervention in school learning in Creole; (3) contributing to the production in Creole of the metalanguage indispensable to the didactization of Creole; (4) to contribute to the dissemination of knowledge in Creole; (5) to model future lexicographic work in a sustainable manner by going beyond the artisanal stage of certain productions by anchoring Haitian lexicography in its indispensable institutional dimension. In this regard, the Faculty of Applied Linguistics should be called upon to ensure the intellectual and operational leadership of contemporary Haitian lexicography: the institutional dimension of the Haitian lexicographical enterprise is a necessary step in order to establish its credibility and scientificity.
The development of Creole in the Haitian school and the complex question of the production of quality lexicographical tools in Creole
It should be recalled that the status and role of Creole in the Haitian education system were institutionalized by the Bernard reform of 1979, which was put on hold in 1987, and which made Creole, for the first time in the country’s history, a language of instruction and a language taught alongside French as a second language. The constitutional basis for the development of Creole, although relatively weak, is found in Article 5 of the 1987 Constitution, which was voted on by a large majority of the Haitian population.
Despite the relatively weak achievements of the 1979 Bernard reform and the co-officialization of Creole and French in the 1987 Constitution, the development of Creole in the Haitian school system still suffers from serious shortcomings that can be summarized as follows the non-existence of an educational linguistic policy; the serious lack of vision and leadership of the State in matters of linguistic development; the multiplication of ministerial « plans », « programs » and « directives » sometimes without any link to what was previously undertaken; the relative scarcity of reference works in the Creole language; the non-existence of a nationwide didactic qualification (of the CAPES type, for example) for teaching Creole and teaching in Creole; the low professional qualification of Creole teachers in relation to the low qualification of teachers of general subjects. The under-qualification of teachers is of primary importance: « In 2000, 53% of public sector teachers and 92% of private sector teachers were unqualified (Bernard Hadjadj: « Education for All in Haiti over the last 20 years: assessment and perspectives », Education for All in the Caribbean, Assessment 2000 monograph series, Kingston, Jamaica: Office of the UNESCO Representative in the Caribbean).
It is in this context that I have highlighted, notably in my articles cited above, the problem of producing quality lexicographical tools in Creole. The future modeling of Haitian lexicographic production is an essential element in terms of its credibility, its scientificity, and its anchoring in time. It can be seen by analyzing the scientific characteristics of several high-quality lexicographic « products », in particular in the following works Albert Valdman’s « Haitian Creole-English Bilingual Dictionary » (Creole Institute, Indiana University, 2007), the most rigorous of all lexicographic works dealing with Haitian Creole; « Les emprunts du créole haïtien à l’anglais et à l’espagnol » (Éditions L’Harmattan, 2014) by Renauld Govain, which is the first major survey on the subject; André Vilaire Chéry’s « Dictionnaire de l’évolution du vocabulaire français en Haïti » (volumes 1 and 2, Éditions Édutex, 2000 and 2002). The critical analysis of this counter-model is of utmost importance in order to highlight the serious conceptual and methodological shortcomings of this counter-model, as well as its dangerous and non-operational character in terms of school learning in the Creole language.
The complex issue of producing quality lexicographic tools in Creole is exemplified today by the serious methodological deficit and poor lexicographic quality of « Diksyonè kreyòl Vilsen » by Féquière Vilsaint and Maud Heurtelou (Éditions Educavision 1994 ) and the « Glossary of STEM terms from the MIT – Haïti Initiative » developed in Boston, and disseminated on the island of La Gonâve within « Lekòl kominotè Matènwa pou devlopman » under the aegis of the « MIT – Haiti Initiative Project ». I have critically evaluated it using the methodological criteria of lexicography in two separate articles published in Haiti, « Le traitement lexicographique du créole dans le » Diksyonè kreyòl Vilsen » (Le National, June 22, 2020;) and « Le traitement lexicographique du créole dans le » Glossary of STEM terms from the MIT – Haïti Initiative » (Le National, July 20, 2020). An examination of « Diksyonè kreyòl Vilsen » using the methodological criteria of professional lexicography demonstrates that this work cannot be recommended by linguists as a reliable dictionary reference. Its serious conceptual, methodological and lexicological shortcomings, the inadequacy, approximation or falsity of many definitions as well as the absence of an adequate metalanguage make it a less than rigorous work, which is difficult to consult in its online version and which cannot serve as a credible reference for users, in particular students, teachers and, more generally, language professionals.
In terms of Creole lexicography, I have demonstrated that the MIT-Haiti Initiative Project promotes a fanciful, erratic, pre-scientific and pre-lexicological pseudo « model » of lexicography. The promotion of the MIT-Haiti Initiative’s pseudo « model » — a « model » that relies primarily on its random and precarious « Glossary » — brings with it the grave danger of installing Creole lexicography in a dead end, a damaging cul-de-sac, a one-eyed amateurism in which the falsity and inadequacy of « Creole » equivalents as well as notional fog take the place of methodology and pretense of epistemological parade. The MIT-Haiti Initiative Project developed its fanciful « Glossary » in Boston in total ignorance of the methodology of lexicographic work. It is because of the total disqualification, at the scientific level, of the pseudo lexicographic « model » of the « Glossary of STEM terms from the MIT – Haiti Initiative », that no Haitian linguist, no teacher, no didactician – in any field study made public -, has endorsed it nor recommended it for teaching science and technology in Creole. The « Glossary of STEM terms from the MIT – Haiti Initiative » has proven to be a counter-model illustrating the path not to follow in Creole lexicography (see my article « Dictionaries and Creole lexicons: should they be developed in a dilettante way or according to scientific criteria? » (The National, July 28, 2020). This counter-model refers to the need to have recourse, in translatology, translation and lexicography, to coherent and motivated theoretical choices regarding the notional conformity, the operationality and the nature of the equivalents retained: Should we resort to « exact equivalence », or « partial equivalence », or « indicative/explanatory equivalence », or « intersectional equivalence », or « semantic equivalence », or « pragmatic equivalence »? (On the typology of equivalence in translatology, see Annaïch Le Serrec’s doctoral dissertation in translation: « Comparative Analysis of Terminological Equivalence in Parallel and Comparable Corpora: Application to the Field of Climate Change, » Université de Montréal, April 2012. See also David B. Ellis: « La notion d’équivalence en traduction : les apports de la théorie des actes de parole », doctoral thesis in translation, Université Sorbonne nouvelle – Paris 3, 1987). Still on the subject of the conformity of equivalents between the source language L1 and the target language L2, it is necessary to take full account of the fact that « The equivalence relation between two terms is based, in particular, on the parallelism in the term-notion relation, established separately for each of the languages concerned. The initial approach [is necessarily] (…) semasiological and consists in going from the identified term to the concept it designates » (see Liliana Kozar: « Fixing terminological equivalence on the example of the French and Polish terms of the supplementary pension scheme », Uniwersytet Zielonogórski, published in Studia Romanica Posnaniensia 43/1, 2016: 27-46.)
It is attested that the « Glossary of STEM terms from the MIT – Haiti Initiative », following its careful and objective examination using the known criteria of lexicographic methodology, is actually a lexicon and by no means a glossary since it does not include any definition of the terms: in their great conceptual and theoretical confusion, its authors therefore confuse « glossary » with « lexicon ». In reality, this lexicon is a pre-lexicographic work rather than a scientific work. Because of its serious conceptual, methodological and lexicological shortcomings, it does not meet the standards of professional lexicography and cannot be recommended by linguists and didacticians as a tool for learning mathematics, science and technology in Creole. This « Glossary » is essentially a fanciful cobbling together of equivalents given for Creole terms but which on analysis are words « dressed up » in a dubious « Creole sound envelope » and which are devoid of rigorous notional equivalence. On the whole, the Creole equivalents are false, inadequate, erratic, haphazard, disabling and non-operational. They cannot be understood by Creole speakers, by students and teachers alike, in a classroom setting.
As an illustration, here is a sample from the « Glossary of STEM terms from the MIT – Haiti Initiative » of false, fanciful, fraudulent, inadequate, non-operational « Creole » equivalents that do not conform to the morphosyntactic system of Creole and that no Creole speaker, teacher or student, can understand :
— « rezistans lè
–pis kout lè
–epi plak pou replik sou
–nan eta repo
–modil elastisite, modil konpresiblite
–limyè ki polarize an sèk
–echikye Punnett di-ibrid ki asosye ak sèks
–pou esperimantasyon sou kwazman ak plak
–replik ki pa sèvi ak tetrad
–vitès chape poul
–pwodui vizyalizasyon chan yo
–lwa gaz ideyal
–entegral sou liy
–fè kwazman & devlope espò
–analiz pou yon makonnay regresyon
–ki pa polè / idwofòb
–konpayèl o pa
–esperimantasyon sou limyè nan yon fant
–panse-fòme pè-pataje »
Should we talk about a « lexicographical scam » when reading these pseudo « Creole » equivalents? The observation is without appeal: no Haitian Creole-speaking teacher, no native speaker of Creole could have « invented » the 859 allegedly « Creole » terms contained in this « Glossary » and that no Creole-speaker can understand… Rigorous examination of the lexicographic counter-model constituted by the « Glossary of STEM terms from the MIT – Haiti Initiative » has clearly demonstrated that it was elaborated, undoubtedly by English-speakers unfamiliar with Creole and lacking in lexicographic skills, in total ignorance of the methodological norms of professional lexicography. It is not known where these fanciful « Creole » equivalents come from -their choice is not motivated-, nor by which « specialists » they were hastily « invented » -the lexicographical, translation or terminological qualifications of the editors are not specified. Nor is it known whether these equivalents are neologisms, methodologically justified, or to which scientific fields they belong.
To the pre-scientific and pre-lexicographic character of the « Glossary of STEM terms from the MIT – Haiti Initiative » we should add a questioning of scientific work ethics: the evidence that the Department of Linguistics at MIT would never have authorized the use of such a scientifically mediocre « Glossary » in the teaching of its linguists on campus. The counter-model of the « Glossary of STEM terms from the MIT – Haiti Initiative » would therefore be adequate in the Haitian educational system but not in the teaching at MIT? Has the Haitian Ministry of Education approved this « Glossary » which for the most part includes false, fanciful, fraudulent, inadequate, non-operational « Creole » equivalents that do not conform to the morphosyntactic system of Creole and that no Creole-speaking speaker can understand? The issue at stake in this critical evaluation, through the articles I have devoted to the « Glossary » and to other Creole lexicographic productions, is still relevant today: should we endorse, support and disseminate a counter-model in Creole lexicography or should we contribute to the elaboration of lexicographic and didactic tools of high scientific quality in Creole?
Against the current of any amateur, fanciful, deficient lexicographic « model » that is foreign to the methodology of lexicography, the present « Plaidoyer pour une lexicographie créole de haute qualité scientifique » identifies the issues at stake and is part of a contribution that aims to bring people together and promote the vision that Creole lexicography should be a field of activity of high scientific quality. The achievement of this objective is linked to a set of structural factors on which it is now necessary to intervene in an institutional manner: the reinforcement of the training of Haitian lexicologists, the didactic qualification of Creole teachers and the modeling of lexicographic production through the contribution of the expertise of the Faculty of Applied Linguistics of the State University of Haiti. The didactization of Creole will certainly be part of the development of the Creole lexicographical tools that the educational system needs for school learning in Creole. The introduction into the Haitian educational system of Creole lexicographical tools of high scientific quality, while promoting learning in the mother tongue Creole, will also be a guarantee of the efficiency of a quality and inclusive education, respectful of the linguistic rights of all speakers. The challenge is great and it is related to the linguistic needs of the three million mother tongue Creole learners who attend Haitian schools.
The elaboration of a Creole lexicography of high scientific quality can now be based on measurable achievements, in particular on the operationality of the methodological foundations of the lexicographic approach. Pradel Pompilus, Renauld Govain, André Vilaire Chéry and Albert Valdman show us the way to achieve this, and their high-quality work has been carried out in accordance with the methodology of lexicographic work: the field survey, the determination of the reference nomenclature, the determination of the target public of the dictionary, the establishment of the corpus to be analyzed, the linguistic rules governing the analysis of the terms retained, their classification, their definition, the phrasal contexts of use of the terms, the explanatory notes, the system of analogical references, the whole constituting what is called an « article » or a « rubric » in a dictionary. To these achievements we must add the formidable potential of computer tools which, for the last forty years, have greatly enriched lexicographical protocols and have contributed to the emergence of dictionaries. It is quite realistic to establish right now the conceptual device of the elaboration of a computerized lexicographic database of Haitian Creole from which a Creole lexicography of high scientific quality will be elaborated. At the perimeter of a modern and citizen Haitian dictionary, it will be able to produce, on solid methodological bases, various lexicographic « products » (lexicons and specialized vocabularies, one-way Creole dictionaries for children and adults) essential to a quality schooling in Creole language. The simultaneous development of Creole and French in the Haitian school system, in conformity with article 5 of the Haitian Constitution of 1987, urgently needs standardized lexicographic and didactic tools: in the same way as a descriptive lexicography of Haitian regional French, a Creole lexicography of high scientific quality will have to provide for this.