The Research Unit: Languages and Literature in the South African Context supports research on linguistics, literature and language technology across all three NWU campuses. It is also planned to be a hub for developments in the new and expanding field of digital humanities.

Members of the research unit are drawn from all departments in the School of Languages, including Afrikaans and Dutch, English, French, German and Setswana, as well as from CPALP (the Centre for Academic and Professional Language Practice) and CTexT (the Centre for Text Technology). Their interests and competencies are very diverse, but are essentially concentrated in the fields of applied and descriptive linguistics, literary criticism, academic literacy, language testing and language technology, particularly through the operations of CTexT.

The research unit is also home to a number of extraordinary professors and extraordinary researchers, who contribute to its research endeavours and supervise postgraduate students.