Language is important in every aspect of our lives because it allows people to communicate in a manner that enables the sharing of common ideas. Likewise, the University of Venda (UNIVEN) is currently the only institution that teaches more languages than any other University in South Africa. 

Workshop participants posing for a group photo outside the University’s Art Gallery

To reinforce these facts, the School of Human and Social Sciences’ MER Mathivha Centre for African Languages, Arts and Culture has organised a Linguistic workshop that is currently underway from Monday, 02 to Friday, 13 March 2020 at the University’s Art Gallery. This workshop focuses on syntactic microvariation of six (6) Southern African Languages, five of which are taught at the University of Venda. During the two-week period, 142 syntactic parameters will be documented by a collaboration between members of the MER Mathivha Centre for African Languages, Arts and Culture and a team of researchers from Japan, United Kingdom (UK), and Bloemfontein. 

Workshop participants listening to the opening remark by Prof Mashige

The current improvement focus is on Siswati; Tshivenda; Sepedi; IsiNdebele; Xitsonga and Southern Sotho languages. Young researchers from the Centre will assist staff members during the documentation project. 

The outcome of this workshop is expected to produce a comprehensive document that is composed of a comparable set of data that encompasses languages in southern Africa. This workshop is co-sponsored by JSPS’s Core-to-Core Program: B. Asia-Africa Science Platforms, and the Dean’s office of the School of Human and Social Sciences. 

Issued by: 

Department of Communications & Marketing 

University of Venda 

Tel: (015) 962 8525 

Date: 04 March 2020