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Applications open for postgraduate degrees in Linguistics!

Date Released : 10/10/2017

Considering postgraduate studies? It's time to apply to study for next year, and if you're wanting to study linguistics, there's no better place in South Africa to do it than at Rhodes University!

Rhodes Researcher attracts NRF P-Rating

Date Released : 20/09/2017

Amongst those honoured at the National Research Foundation Gala Awards held in Bloemfontein on the evening of 14 September 2017 was Dr William Bennet of the Department of English Language and Linguistics at Rhodes University.

A ‘backwards’ sound change in Setswana

Date Released : 26/10/2016

Rhodes linguist Will Bennett has discovered a sound change in some varieties of Setswana that seems to go against a trend found in languages around the world: in Setswana, the sound ‘s’ changes to ‘sh’ before back vowels like ‘o’. He described this change in a Departmental Research Seminar on Tuesday 25 October 2016.

Two winners for 2016 Vivian de Klerk Prize

Date Released : 19/10/2016

Emmalene Barron-Le Roux and Adam Randera were presented with the Vivian de Klerk Prize in class on Tuesday 20 September 2016. This prize goes each year to the student with the highest marks for English Language and Linguistics 2 who carries on to do English Language and Linguistics 3 at Rhodes University. This year, the prize was shared.

UJ linguist disentangles tense and time in African languages

Date Released : 11/10/2016

Professor Lionel Posthumus from the Department of African Languages at the University of Johannesburg visited RU’s Department of English Language and Linguistics on 27-28 September, and gave an excellent Departmental Research Seminar on deixis, tense and time reference in African languages, using examples from isiZulu.

Events and their shadows: an exploration of isiXhosa tense and aspect

Date Released : 31/08/2016

Events cast ‘shadows’ over the period in which their effects can be noticed, and these ‘shadows’ seem to be built into the tense and aspect system of isiXhosa. That is what Prof. Ron Simango, the head of the Department of English Language and Linguistics at Rhodes University, argued in a Departmental Research Seminar on Tuesday 23 August.

Studying syllables in South African Sign Language

Date Released : 17/05/2016

On 10 May 2016, Rhodes Linguistics kicked off a series of academic seminars in honour of Disability Week with a look at syllables in the phonology of South African Sign Language (SASL), presented by Master’s student Mikhaela Köhlo. If you’re wondering how sign languages can have phonology, the answer is that sign language phonology refers to the rules that govern how different handshapes, locations on the body, movements, hand orientations and facial expressions are combined in signs. Each sign is made up of movements between different locations or holds, and each of these movements and the holds on either side of it forms a syllable. Ms Köhlo’s research identifies constraints that govern what handshapes and locations can occur at the ends, or codas, of these syllables.

Reporting political conflict across languages in Uganda

Date Released : 29/04/2016

Ugandan hard-news reports have a structure that differs from that found in typical Western newspapers. This is what Levis Mugumya, an African Humanities Project (AHP) research fellow from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, claimed in an insightful Departmental Research Seminar on Tuesday 26 April.

A Graduation celebration!

Date Released : 13/04/2016

Rhodes University's Department of English Language and Linguistics celebrated the achievements of its latest crop of graduates at a Graduation Reception on Saturday 2 April 2016.

Phonological awareness in isiXhosa: what we know and where we can go

Date Released : 01/04/2016

Phonological awareness is a valuable tool that can be used in teaching children to read and testing their progress. Rhodes Linguistics MA graduate Maxine Diemer gave an exciting report-back on her Master’s research about phonological awareness in isiXhosa in a Departmental Research Seminar on Tuesday 15 March, and showed what can be done to build on her work.

Transforming linguistics

Date Released : 23/02/2016

The Linguisitics Society of Southern Africa and Southern African Applied Linguistics Association held a very successful workshop from 20 to 22 January 2016 on transforming linguistics curricula. The workshop entitled “Linguistics in a transforming South Africa: perspectives on curriculum, research and disciplinary practice” brought together representatives from NWU, UKZN, UFS, TUT, UJ, WITS and Rhodes to discuss issues pertaining to transformation of linguistics curricula, research and the place of linguistics in Higher Education. We reached a number of resolutions and will be taking these back to our departments and linguistics societies with the aim of starting these important conversations. We will be meeting again next year to discuss progress.

Want a two-week study trip to Ivory Coast?

Date Released : 28/01/2016

The African Linguistics School (ALS) is a two-week institute which brings the latest work in core areas of linguistics to students from African universities. The areas of focus are syntax, semantics, phonology, sociolinguistics and phonetic fieldwork. Any student of linguistics at the graduate or advanced undergraduate level may apply. Students from African universities are fully funded, including travel. The deadline for applications is February 15, 2016.

Linguistics in a transforming South Africa: workshop to be held at Rhodes

Date Released : 01/12/2015

The Linguistics Society of Southern Africa (LSSA) and Southern African Applied Linguistics Association (SAALA) will be holding a national workshop on linguistics in a transforming South Africa from 20-22 January 2015. This workshop for stakeholders in the discipline of Linguistics will explore issues of transformation in curriculum, research and disciplinary practice. The linguistic disciplines are articulated within a Southern African context characterized by rich linguistic diversity. However this diversity exists within spaces intersected by complex linguistic power relations, English hegemony, prescriptive linguistic attitudes, social and economic exclusion, identity and aspirations among many others.

Microlinguistics Workshop a great success

Date Released : 16/12/2015

At the end of November, Rhodes hosted the 4th Southern African Microlinguistics Workshop (SAMWOP-4). The conference featured presenters from over a dozen universities, including visitors from Finland, Japan, Malawi, America, and England - as well as presentations by our students, Xiujie Ma, Mikhaela Köhlo, and Stefan Savic?. The programme, along with slides or handouts from many of the talks, can be found at the SAMWOP-4 website here: https://sites.google.com/site/samwop4/.

Postgraduate and third-year funding available!

Date Released : 15/12/2015

Rhodes linguist Ian Siebörger will receive an NRF Thuthuka Grant for 2016 to 2018 to assist with his PhD research on how evaluative language is used to position political parties in the Daily Sun and Business Day newspapers. This grant includes money for one Master's bursary and two student assistantships for Honours or third-year students who will help with his project.

Visiting scholar tackles gender ideologies in Nigerian novels

Date Released : 25/11/2015

Amaka Ezeife, a visiting post-doctoral scholar from Nigeria, is investigating how euphemisms and their opposite, dysphemisms, are used to convey ideologies about gender in novels from her country. She presented some of her research at a Linguistics Department Research Seminar on Tuesday 24 November 2015.

Investigating isiXhosa sound changes in the lab

Date Released : 19/10/2015

Rhodes linguist Will Bennett investigated the origins of an interesting sound pattern in isiXhosa along with Kelly Goldstuck, an English Language and Linguistics 3 student from 2014, and Aaron Braver, a colleague from Texas Tech University. He presented the group’s findings at the World Congress of African Linguistics in Kyoto, Japan, in August, and also shared them at a Departmental Research Seminar on Tuesday 6 October.

Bronwyn Pretorius wins Cambridge University Press Prize

Date Released : 06/10/2015

Prof. Ron Simango gave Bronwyn Pretorius the Cambridge University Press Prize for 2014 in a short ceremony at the beginning of a lecture on Wednesday 16 September. The Cambridge University Press Prize is awarded each year to the English Language and Linguistics 1 student with the best marks who continues to English Language and Linguistics 2.

Postgrad Week: a meeting of minds

Date Released : 21/09/2015

The third annual Rhodes Linguistics Postgraduate Week clearly showcased the quality and variety of the research done by our postgraduate students. The week, which brings together students based in Grahamstown with those completing their degrees from a distance, was held from Monday 31 August to Friday 4 September 2015 at the Gavin Relly Postgraduate Village.

Rhodes to host 4th Southern African Microlinguistics Workshop

Date Released : 11/06/2015

On 27-30 November, Rhodes University's Department of English Language and Linguistics will be hosting the fourth annual Southern African Microlinguistics Workshop. This workshop is a gathering for linguists interested in studying the structure of language. The workshop is being held at Rhodes for the first time. Abstracts for the workshop close on 1 July 2015.

Visiting scholar examines object marking in Swahili

Date Released : 10/06/2015

Dr Kristina Riedel, a visiting linguist from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, presented some of her research on Swahili in a Departmental Research Seminar on Tuesday 9 June. Dr Riedel is a frequent visitor to the department, and her seminar explored some of the interesting quirks of object marking in different varieties of Swahili. Object markers are morphemes which attach to the verb and indicate the noun class of the verb’s object, and are common in the Bantu language family, which includes nine of South Africa’s official languages.

Xhosa in long and short

Date Released : 27/05/2015

Eva-Marie Bloom Ström, a Rhodes linguistics postdoctoral research fellow, shared some early insights from her research on morpho-syntactic variation in Xhosa dialects at a Departmental Research Seminar on Tuesday 26 May 2015. She looked at the difference between the disjoint (or long) form of Xhosa sentences and the conjoint (or short) form.

A Deaf teacher tells his story

Date Released : 15/05/2015

Mfundo Lebaka, a Deaf teacher visiting the Department of English Language and Linguistics, told the story of his challenges in accessing education at a public talk on Thursday 14 May 2015 as part of Disability Week. He amazed the audience with his description of life as a Deaf person in a hearing world. He signed the talk in South African Sign Language (SASL), and it was interpreted into English by Asanda Katshwa, an accomplished South African Sign Language interpreter currently based in East London.

Shriek or yell, giggle or cry?

Date Released : 13/05/2015

Dr Sally Hunt investigated the ways in which gender is expressed in verbs of speech in children’s fiction at a linguistics departmental research seminar on Tuesday 13 May. She has found that in these books, female characters tend to giggle and shriek, while male characters bellow and guffaw. In her talk she showed what implications this has for the ways in which gender roles are portrayed in these books.

Ugandan scholar examines depictive adjectives in Rutooro and English syntax

Date Released : 22/04/2015

Dr Bebwa Isingoma, a visiting researcher from Uganda, talked about the role of depictive adjectives in English and Rutooro, a Ugandan language, in a Linguistics Departmental Research Seminar on Tuesday 22 April. Isingoma is spending two months at Rhodes University, working on converting his PhD dissertation into a book. His visit is funded by the American Council of Learned Societies African Humanities Project.

Will Bennett publishes book on the phonology of consonants

Date Released : 15/04/2015

Rhodes linguist Will Bennett has just published a book with Cambridge University Press: The Phonology of Consonants: Harmony, Dissimilation, and Correspondence. You can find out more about it here: www.cambridge.org/9781107073630

Good things come in twos at Graduation Reception

Date Released : 14/04/2015

The Department of English Language and Linguistics celebrated its latest crop of graduates on Saturday 11 April 2015 at its annual Graduation Reception. This year, the reasons to celebrate mostly came in twos: two accomplished young linguists graduated with their Master’s degrees, two graduated with Honours, two staff members had a birthday, and two important people with the name Branford were honoured.

Mapping isiXhosa dialects

Date Released : 08/04/2015

Rhodes linguist Mark de Vos has recently done some very exciting work on a pilot project in which he is creating maps of regional language variation in isiXhosa and isiZulu. He presented this work and some of his maps at a Linguistics Departmental Research Seminar Tuesday 24 March 2015.

Douglas Smith wins Vivian de Klerk Prize

Date Released : 07/04/2015

The Vivian de Klerk Prize is awarded every year to the English Language and Linguistics 2 student with the best results who continues to English Language and Linguistics 3 at Rhodes University. The top Ling 2 student from 2014, Douglas Smith, was presented with the prize on Tuesday 24 March by Vivian de Klerk herself.

New postdoc talks Swahili

Date Released : 17/03/2015

The department welcomed a new postdoctoral fellow at the beginning of the year, Dr Eva-Marie Bloom Ström. Eva-Marie comes from Sweden, and she is being funded by the Swedish Research Council to do research on variation in isiXhosa at Rhodes University. She is an accomplished field linguist specializing in African languages, having completed her PhD at the University of Gothenburg on describing Ndengeleko, an endangered language from Tanzania. On Tuesday 10 March she gave a seminar on a more widely-spoken East African language she is familiar with, Swahili.

Investigating interrogatives in Igbo

Date Released : 04/03/2015

In February, the Department of English Language and Linguistics hosted Jeremiah Nwankwegu, an African Humanities Project Fellow-in-Residence from Ebonyi State University in Nigeria. Nwankwegu is finishing his PhD thesis, investigating the syntax of interrogatives (question sentences) in different dialects of Igbo, a language spoken in Nigeria. He presented his work at a Linguistics Departmental Research Seminar on Tuesday 24 February.

Rhodes Linguistics welcomes new postgrads

Date Released : 09/02/2015

A fresh group of new postgraduate students arrived at the Department of English Language and Linguistics at the beginning of February. An exciting week of activities welcomed new students to our scholarly community and gave them a taste of the kinds of research we do.

Less than one month till SAMWOP 4!

Date Released : 02/11/2015

The fourth Southern African Microlinguistics Workshop (SAMWOP 4) takes place at Rhodes University from 27 to 29 November 2015. Visit the SAMWOP 4 website for more information: https://sites.google.com/site/samwop4/

First year at Rhodes and choosing a Major?

Date Released : 26/01/2015

Studying at university is an exhilarating experience. There are so many exciting possibilities to study – and you get to choose! But the choices can be intimidating: most people have never even heard of some of the subjects that can be studied. So it can be a perplexing task to choose your majors and other subjects.

Abigail Branford wins Branford Prize!

Date Released : 05/12/2014

Abigail Branford has won the prize named after her grandfather, Bill Branford, the founding Professor and Head of the Department of English Language and Linguistics at Rhodes University. The Bill Branford Prize is awarded annually to the top English Language and Linguistics 3 student. This one-of-a-kind occasion is definitely a special cause for celebration.

Hard work and great fun in Postgrad Week

Date Released : 31/10/2014

The Department of English Language and Linguistics held its annual Postgrad Week from 20 to 24 October. Twenty-four Honours, Master’s and PhD students presented their research on topics ranging from South African Sign Language phonology to the language of Zimbabwean tourist brochures.

Wanted: Postgraduates to research literacy

Date Released : 17/10/2014

The Department of English Language and Linguistics invites applications to the Postgraduate research programme: Strategic Early Literacy Imperative: Linguistic and social partnerships in Foundation-Phase Learning in African languages

Linguists gear up for Postgrad Week

Date Released : 15/10/2014

The Department of English Language and Linguistics is holding its annual Postgrad Week in just a few days’ time. This week is a special gathering of all the department’s postgraduate students, both those in attendance in Grahamstown and those who study from a distance. It is designed to give students opportunities to present their research, consult with their supervisors, meet with their research group and take their research projects on to the next step.

Identity representations in the 2010 FIFA World Cup

Date Released : 13/10/2014

How were national, ‘racial’ and gender identities represented in the South African media around the time of the 2010 FIFA World Cup? Dr Sally Hunt has done some very interesting linguistic research to answer this question. She presented some of her findings at an English Language and Linguistics Departmental Research Seminar on Tuesday 7 October 2014.

A visitor from China

Date Released : 13/10/2014

During China Week at Rhodes University, the Department of English Language and Linguistics hosted a talk by Prof. Jun Zhang, a linguist from Jinan University in China.

Political constellations: mapping media representations of political parties

Date Released : 02/10/2014

Rhodes linguist Ian Siebörger spoke about his plans for a large-scale PhD study tracking the ways in which the media use language to position different political parties in a Departmental Research Seminar on Tuesday 16 September.

Postgrads investigate South African Sign Language, Chinese and isiXhosa

Date Released : 11/09/2014

Two Rhodes Linguistics postgraduate students, Mikhaela Köhlo and Xiujie Ma, presented their research proposals to the department on Friday 5 September. Their two studies highlight the diversity and multilingual richness of the department’s research: Mikhaela is doing her Master’s on the phonology of South African Sign Language (SASL), and Xiujie is working towards a PhD comparing the syntax of Chinese and isiXhosa.

Phonology versus Morphology in isiXhosa

Date Released : 05/09/2014

Rhodes linguist Will Bennett and his colleague Aaron Braver from Texas Tech University have discovered an interesting pattern in isiXhosa which could be the result of a phonological process (a sound change), or a result of historical change in isiXhosa morphemes. Will Bennett presented this pattern at a research seminar in the Department of English Language and Linguistics on Tuesday 2 September, 2014.

Conversations with patients in the seizure clinic

Date Released : 04/09/2014

Linguistics can help in diagnosing patients who experience blackouts, according to research done by Dr Catherine Robson from the University of York. Dr Robson presented a research seminar about some of her conversation analysis work on Tuesday 26 August at Rhodes University's Department of English Language and Linguistics.

Danyel Hartley wins CUP Prize

Date Released : 04/09/2014

Danyel Hartley was given the Cambridge University Press Prize at a surprise presentation in an English Language and Linguistics 2 lecture on Monday 1 September 2014. The prize is awarded each year to the English Language and Linguistics 1 student with the highest mark who proceeds to English Language and Linguistics 2.

Bright linguists take part in cyclathon

Date Released : 26/08/2014

A group of Rhodes Linguistics staff and postgraduate students took part in the Rhodes University Health Suite's annual charity Cyclathon on Friday 22 August. They joined the cyclathon for a 40-minute slot themed "Tight and Lumo", and dressed the part in some rather loud outfits!

Language under the microscope

Date Released : 02/09/2014

Two Rhodes linguists recently published their research in a special edition of the journal Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, entitled “Microlinguistics in Southern Africa”. As the title implies, this edition was dedicated to analyses of the smallest units of language: its sounds (phonetics and phonology), word-building processes (morphology) and sentence structure (syntax).

Rhodes academics leading in Linguistics

Date Released : 12/08/2014

Two Rhodes academics, Prof. Mark de Vos and Dr Sally Hunt, were elected as leaders of southern Africa’s linguists this June. Mark de Vos is the new president of the Linguistics Society of Southern Africa (LSSA), and Sally Hunt is now the chair of the Southern African Applied Linguistics Association (SAALA).

Hurrah, Ling graduates are best!

Date Released : 07/05/2013

Rhodes linguists celebrated a bumper graduation this April, with a sterling group of students achieving their BA, BA(Honours) and MA degrees, as well as one PhD. As is tradition, the department held a graduation reception the courtyard outside the Drostdy Barracks. It was a fantastic, festive affair, with the Linguistics 3 class of 2012 even serenading the assembled company with a song they wrote about their year. The refrain: Hurrah, Ling 3 is best!

Linguists share knowledge at Corpus Week

Date Released : 25/03/2013

A wide variety of linguists are gathering at Rhodes University’s Department of English Language and Linguistics from 25 to 28 March 2013 for South Africa’s first Corpus Week. A corpus is a digitized collection of texts that can be used for many different types of research, from dictionary writing to picking out ideologies and analysing them critically. The aim of the week is to allow experienced corpus linguists and intrigued newcomers to share their knowledge with each other and encourage new research partnerships, according to Sally Hunt, the week’s convenor.

Bisset wins de Klerk prize

Date Released : 08/03/2013

Congratulations to Susan Bisset for being awarded the Vivian de Klerk prize for 2013!

New phonology lecturer fascinated by Xhosa and Zulu

Date Released : 24/01/2013

William Bennett, the newest addition to the Department of English Language and Linguistics staff, arrived from New Jersey last week. For him, coming to Rhodes is the latest stage in a growing love affair with South Africa and its languages.

Exploring Fanagalo -- SA's mystery language

Date Released : 21/11/2012

Fanagalo: proof that not only Boers, but Africans in general, can always make a plan. This language is famous for being used extensively in South African gold and diamond mines - poitjie pots of culture and communication - but what is the real deal behind this creative concoction of language?

R1,5 million project to study literacy

Date Released : 07/11/2012

Rhodes linguists Dr Mark de Vos and Kristin van der Merwe have been awarded a grant of R1,5 million over three years to study foundation phase literacy in African languages. The grant, which comes from the Rhodes University Council's Sandisa Imbewu fund, will be used to fund a post-doctoral research fellow and postgraduate students interested in solving one of South Africa's most pressing educational problems.

Heads and Specifiers in English

Date Released : 06/09/2011

Mark de Vos from Rhodes Linguistics explored asymmetries in Specifier-Head word order in English at a Departmental Research Seminar held on Tuesday 16 August. He demonstrated that there is only mixed empirical evidence in English to back up the prediction of the Linear Correspondence Axiom (LCA) that specifiers universally precede their heads.

Prestigious travel bursary for postgrad student

Date Released : 28/09/2012

Amy Richardson a hardworking Master’s student has been awarded Abe Bailey Travel Bursary, a three-week tour of the United Kingdom, all expenses paid. The bursary selects a single candidate from 16 South African Universities for the sole purpose of giving them a unique cultural and international experience.

The evolution of natural language syntax by natural selection

Date Released : 11/09/2012

Rhodes linguist Mark de Vos delivered a talk at North-West University on Friday 24 August entitled "The evolution of natural language syntax by natural selection: optimization of the mental lexicon yields syntax for free". His talk presented an account of the evolution of human language by natural selection that focuses on the evolution of the lexicon. Here is a brief summary of what he said:

Doing business in many languages

Date Released : 22/05/2012

At a Departmental Research Seminar on Tuesday 15 May, Rhodes Linguistics Master’s student Sanne Lauriks talked about her plans to compare the ways in which languages are used in two small businesses: one in Grahamstown and one in Amsterdam.

Being multilingual in Ghana

Date Released : 10/05/2012

Dr Mercy Akrofi Ansah, a visiting scholar from the University of Ghana, took the Rhodes Linguistics department on a virtual tour of a small town in her country as she spoke about language choice in a multilingual community in a Departmental Research Seminar on Tuesday 8 May 2012.

Linguistics graduates shine

Date Released : 01/05/2012

The Department of English Language and Linguistics recently celebrated the graduation of its class of 2011. This year's crop of graduands, although relatively small, included some sparkling achievers.

Putting words together in ciNsenga

Date Released : 22/02/2012

Rhodes linguist Ron Simango presented a brief look at the grammar of ciNsenga at a Departmental Research Seminar on Tuesday 22 February. He showed how this language, from the border of Malawi and Zambia, handles subject marking, coordination and noun classes.

Endangered languages can be saved and strengthened

Date Released : 20/02/2012

Associate Professor Ron Simango from Rhodes Linguistics spoke on SAFM on Sunday 19 February about the threat of language endangerment: the possibility that languages may die out and be replaced by more 'powerful' languages. Fortunately, he said, our languages can be preserved and strengthened if people use them in more domains of society.

Ian Siebörger submits his MA thesis... and speaks on SAFM again

Date Released : 20/01/2012

Rhodes Linguistics lecturer Ian Siebörger handed in his Master's thesis on language in Parliament on Monday 16 January, and has been asked to give another interview for SAFM's Word of Mouth programme on Sunday 22 January.

Mark de Vos speaks on Talk Radio 702 and 567 CapeTalk

Date Released : 25/11/2011

Dr Mark de Vos was interviewed on Talk Radio 702 and 567 CapeTalk on Tuesday 23 November, on the topic of the meanings of words, especially taboo words.

Ian Siebörger to speak on SAFM again

Date Released : 23/11/2011

Rhodes linguist Ian Siebörger has been asked to give an interview on SAFM again on Sunday 27 November from 1:30 to 2:00pm.

Plagiarism and self-plagiarism

Date Released : 09/11/2011

Dr Mark de Vos from Rhodes Linguistics gave a paper at an EDUCATION DIALOGUES panel discussion on plagiarism held at the Rhodes University Environmental Education Learning Resource Centre on Wednesday 19 October. A full copy of his paper is available below: I broached the issue of plagiarism with a philosophically inclined friend of mine a few weeks ago. His response was quite blunt: it’s a legal issue; let the lawyers sort it out. I’d like to argue against this view, that leaving it to others (especially lawyers) is an abdication of the defence of academic freedom and that we (and Rhodes as an institution) should be taking the high ground before others do.

Ian Siebörger to speak on SAFM

Date Released : 04/11/2011

Rhodes Linguistics junior lecturer Ian Siebörger will be interviewed on SAFM's "Word of Mouth" feature on language on Sunday 6 November from 1:30 to 2:00pm.

How Standard English got that way

Date Released : 04/11/2011

Most people treat the rules of Standard English as though they dropped down out of the sky. In a special departmental research seminar on Tuesday 1 November, Prof. Raymond Hickey, an accomplished visiting linguist from the University of Duisburg and Essen in Germany, showed how these standards were constructed by a few rival lexicographers and grammarians in the 18th century.

On pop music lyrics and real estate adverts

Date Released : 31/10/2011

At the last Rhodes Linguistics Honours Research seminar for 2011, two students presented intriguing analyses of two very different types of text. Lynn Nowers compared pop music lyrics from 1960 with some from 2010 to find out how much they had changed in the way they portrayed gender relations. Then Tracy Beangstrom delved into the evaluative language used in real estate agency adverts, comparing two competing real estate agencies in Grahamstown. Both their studies revealed some fascinating (but not always reassuring) insights into trends in discourse today.

Politics and positioning at Honours Seminar

Date Released : 22/10/2011

Euphemisms in parliament and insults at an anti-rape protest were the topic of discussion at the second in a series of Rhodes Linguistics Honours Research Seminars, on Tuesday 4 October. With such a strong focus on evaluative language and its links with broader society, the seminar was an intriguing window into what is happening in South African political discourse today.

Sally Hunt gives workshops at University of the Western Cape

Date Released : 10/10/2011

The combination of Corpus Linguistics and Critical Discourse Analysis is a relatively new, and very exciting, development in linguistics. Rhodes Linguistics lecturer Sally Hunt went to the University of the Western Cape during the September vac to give a workshop to their post graduate students and staff on using corpora in ideological analysis.

Sally Hunt gives workshops at University of the Western Cape

Date Released : 10/10/2011

The combination of Corpus Linguistics and Critical Discourse Analysis is a relatively new, and very exciting, development in linguistics. Rhodes Linguistics lecturer Sally Hunt went to the University of the Western Cape during the September vac to give a workshop to their post graduate students and staff on using corpora in ideological analysis.

Honours students scintillate at seminar

Date Released : 30/09/2011

Four Rhodes Linguistics students dazzled the department with their research at the first of two Honours research seminars, held on Tuesday 27 October. The presentations centred on two topics, the language of evaluation and agreement in syntax, and gave students a chance to get feedback on their work before they hand in their year-long research reports in a few weeks’ time. Each presentation was given with great vigour and spiced with a good dose of humour, making the two-hour seminar a delight to attend.

Syntactic innovation in Europe

Date Released : 03/07/2011

Linguists from Europe are creating a common Internet search engine that will give users access to numerous databases helping them to compare the structures of languages in Europe. This is one of the goals of the European Dialect Syntax project (Edisyn), which Marika Lekakou from the Netherlands introduced to South African linguists at a special talk on Monday 27 June at Interactions and Interfaces, the linguistics conference being hosted at Rhodes. Lekakou is a post-doctoral researcher at the Meertens Institute in the Netherlands.

Signing their way to a better future

Date Released : 09/09/2011

The Rhodes Linguistics 2 class had an exciting encounter with South African Sign Language (SASL) during a 12-day visit by Kirsty Maclons and Atiyah Asmal, two Sign Language teachers from Johannesburg and Cape Town. Their visit began with a special guest lecture by Atiyah Asmal and Hilda Mbetha, the Eastern Cape chairperson of DeafSA.

Sally Hunt explores Corpus Ling in the UK

Date Released : 07/09/2011

Sally Hunt, a Rhodes linguistics lecturer, has just returned from a busy visit to the UK where she attended a conference and a week-long summer school, both on Corpus Linguistics.

Heads and Specifiers in English

Date Released : 06/09/2011

Mark de Vos from Rhodes Linguistics explored asymmetries in Specifier-Head word order in English at a Departmental Research Seminar held on Tuesday 16 August. He demonstrated that there is only mixed empirical evidence in English to back up the prediction of the Linear Correspondence Axiom (LCA) that specifiers universally precede their heads.

Clashing mindsets in Parliament

Date Released : 22/09/2011

Civil servants from government departments and state-owned entities are often asked to make presentations in parliament. This is one of the ways in which parliament does its job of overseeing government. Ian Sieborger from the Rhodes Linguistics department has found that these presentations can be filled with misunderstandings and tension.

Mzansi jumps into the dictionary

Date Released : 10/08/2011

The department's first Departmental Research Seminar (DRS) for the term on Tuesday 2 August, featured Richard Bowker, associate editor from the Dictionary Unit for South African English (DSAE).

Diversity on everyone's lips

Date Released : 03/07/2011

“Language and Linguistics, with their sensitivities to language, culture and context and issues of social inclusion and exclusion, are well-positioned to help our societies and also our universities to advance social justice and more inclusive social and academic cultures,” Dr Saleem Badat, the Vice Chancellor of Rhodes University said in opening Interactions and Interfaces, a conference about language being hosted by the university;s Department of English Language and Linguist

The real social network

Date Released : 03/07/2011

“The real social network is not Facebook; it’s face-to-face,” is what the University of Alberta’s Tracey Derwing had to say in her keynote address on Monday 27 June at Interactions and Interfaces, a conference about language held at Rhodes. Her paper talked about how accents amongst other things affect a foreign speaker’s ability to learn a second language, and how face-to-face interaction can help. Derwing firstly discussed judgements made about people because of

Narrative interactions

Date Released : 03/07/2011

Masako is a Japanese woman who found community – and a new husband – in the process of learning English after she immigrated to New Zealand. Gert, an Afrikaans financial advisor who also moved to New Zealand, found that his life changed far less in his new setting. These stories were told in a talk about language learners' stories by Dr Gary Barkhuizen, at Interactions and Interfaces, a conference about language hosted at Rhodes University. Barkhuizen, the th

Things you can('t) tell from a criminal's voice

Date Released : 03/07/2011

On TV series like 24 and Law and Order, it's not unusual to see detectives whip a recording of a suspected criminal's voice over to the sound lab, and half an hour later get the message “we have a match”, confirming that the suspect is guilty. In a keynote address on the final day of Interactions and Interfaces, a conference about language held at Rhodes University, forensic linguist Paul Foulkes stressed the fact that it is not always so easy to analyse voice recordings, but evidence from linguistic experts can still be extremely useful in criminal investigations. Foulkes is from the University of York in the United Kingdom and also wo

The meanings of monolingualism

Date Released : 01/06/2011

Listening to asylum-seekers' stories

Date Released : 13/06/2011

Interactions and Interfaces second call for papers

Date Released : 02/02/2011

When 'yesterday' and 'tomorrow' are the same word

Date Released : 17/02/2011

Amy Sutherland receives Vivian de Klerk Prize

Date Released : 30/05/2011

Language Variation -- European Perspectives

Date Released : 26/04/2011

Does Turkish have a two-way voicing contrast?

Date Released : 04/04/2011

Why can't MBA students write?

Date Released : 28/03/2011

Ron Simango at B4ntu

Date Released : 03/05/2011

Maxine Diemer receives Van Schaik Prize

Date Released : 10/05/2011

Nuwe uitgawe van Afrikaanse taalbron bekend gestel

Date Released : 03/07/2011

A visitor from York

Date Released : 19/04/2011

How to represent in Parliament

Date Released : 21/04/2011

Plain language on the rise

Date Released : 03/07/2011

The rain in the Northern Cape puzzles Mark de Vos

Date Released : 19/05/2011

Comprehending figurative language

Date Released : 14/06/2011

Out of Africa

Date Released : 02/06/2011

Dr Sally Hunt receives Thomas Alty Award

Date Released : 20/06/2011

Interactions and Interfaces in the Makana Moon

Date Released : 17/06/2011

Programming in Pure English

Date Released : 17/05/2011

One man's war on clichés

Date Released : 24/06/2011

Reading revolution

Date Released : 09/05/2011

Rhodes Ling graduate wins scholarship to Edinburgh

Date Released : 24/05/2011

Poetry for Everyday Life

Date Released : 13/04/2011

Afrikaanse taalkunde in die kollig

Date Released : 03/07/2011

On Generative Linguistics, Imperialism and Pizza

Date Released : 01/04/2011

Analysing Clem Sunter's leadership discourse

Date Released : 09/02/2011

The interface of language and ethnicity

Date Released : 03/06/2011

Mobility Language Literacy and Rhodes linguistics

Date Released : 01/02/2011

Celebrating Ling graduates

Date Released : 11/04/2011

Learning through Interaction

Date Released : 09/06/2011

Ling graduate to manage Fugard Theatre

Date Released : 05/02/2011

Rhodes Ling graduate off to Lancaster

Date Released : 23/06/2011

Telling language learners' stories

Date Released : 17/06/2011

How time works in Mandarin and isiXhosa

Date Released : 04/05/2011

Using phonetics to catch criminals

Date Released : 21/06/2011

Meet our new phonologist!

Date Released : 22/03/2011

Speaking in Tongues

Date Released : 12/04/2011