Descriptive Linguistics


This sub-programme is focussed on research in what can be broadly termed "Descriptive Linguistics"; another term that has become popular on the local South Africa scene is "microlinguistics," i.e. linguistics whose main (although not exclusive) focus is the structure of language. This is meant to include the core linguistic disciplines of phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics as well as related fields such as sociolinguistics or historical linguistics. It is specifically meant to exclude various forms of applied linguistics, whether of an educational kind (e.g. with a focus on literacy) or of a computational kind (e.g. hard-core speech-recognition). As such, this sub-programme aligns itself in broad terms with the Linguistics Society of South Africa (LSSA) and with related local journals (e.g. SALALS, SPIL-Plus, Language Matters etc.). Current members of the subprogram include full-time staff at the School of Languages, research associates and postgraduate (MA & PhD) students. Current topics of research range from English and Afrikaans sociolinguistics, Afrikaans morphology, corpus linguistics and forensic linguistics to comparative and historical linguistics.


News from the Sub-Programme

Prof Andries Coetzee of the University of Michigan will be presenting a paper entitled "Individual and Community Level Differences in the Perception and Production of Coarticulatory Speech" on 18th July in E9-208 from 12H00-13H00.