What we do:
Discourse analysis studies language in use in real-life contexts, such as casual conversations and the media. In discourse analysis, we 'read between the lines' to discover the ways in which language use interacts with social power and ideologies.
In our department, the following people teach and do research in discourse analysis:
Psycholinguistics looks at how we learn language, how we process it and what happens when our brains have some difficulty processing language, as in cases of stuttering or aphasia, for example.
In our department, the following people teach and do research in psycholinguistics:
Sociolinguistics studies the ways in which language interacts with society. It looks at the ways in which people in different places or different social classes speak differently to each other, and why. It also examines how we adjust the way we speak or write according to the different situations we find ourselves in, such as on the beach or in a business meeting.
In our department, the following people teach and do research in sociolinguistics:
Phonetics investigates the smallest building blocks of language: the sounds we make. Phonology describes how we put these sounds together to make words.
In our department, our Senior Research Associate William Bennett, based in Canada, does research on phonetics and phonology.
Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) is an innovative approach that sees language as a set of systems for making meaning, and as a collection of tools which we use to communicate. It is a useful way to analyse the language in texts to look at, for example, the ways that we express emotions and attitudes, or the ways we structure texts to get our point across.
In our department, the following people teach and do research in Systemic Functional Linguistics:
How the cultural familiarity of the stimulus and the urban/rural divide may influence storytelling in isiZulu L1 speaking children from KwaZulu-Natal
Three PhDs and three MAs: a record Graduation!
Agricultural activity: verbs of planting in Tafi
Giving language a universal voice: The journey to reviving, resuscitating and reigniting isiXhosa after 30 years