SALALS virtual conference 2021 – Programme


Below is the latest version of the conference programme. Conference participants who have not received the Zoom session links must please email

Conference information & Registration

20 September
21 September
22 September
23 September

Monday 20th September, 2021

08:15–08:30Workshop Opening
08:30–09:30Welcome by SADiLaR – Prof Langa Khumalo
Introduction to working with digital text Voyant tools
Participants will gain new experience on how to analyse and read digital texts in an online environment – no prior experience required. What you can do with Voyant ( Use it to learn how computers-assisted analysis works. Check out our examples that show you how to do real academic tasks with Voyant. Use it to study texts that you find on the web or texts that you have carefully edited and have on your computer. Use it to add functionality to your online collections, journals, blogs or web sites so others can see through your texts with analytical tools. Use it to add interactive evidence to your essays that you publish online. Add interactive panels right into your research essays (if they can be published online) so your readers can recapitulate your results. Regular expressions Participants will learn how to search for patterns in text using regular expressions. Knowledge gained in this session will be transferable to many different platforms and analysis systems. No prior experience needed.
Participants will gain experience in using ELAN to annotate video and audio recordings. No prior experience needed. With ELAN a user can add an unlimited number of textual annotations to audio and/or video recordings. An annotation can be a sentence, word or gloss, a comment, translation or a description of any feature observed in the media. Annotations can be created on multiple layers, called tiers. Tiers can be hierarchically interconnected. An annotation can either be time-aligned to the media or it can refer to other existing annotations. The content of annotations consists of Unicode text and annotation documents are stored in an XML format (EAF)

Tuesday 21st September, 2021

09:00Day 1 Opening
09:45–10:45KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Prof Anne Baker
What you always wanted (your students) to know about sign languages
10:45–11:00TEA / COFFEE BREAK
 Zoom Session
Zoom Session
Zoom Session
Zoom Session
11:00–11:30SASL place-name planning: Developing an app as a non-official intervention
Chrismi Loth, Gideon Kotzé & Jani De Lange
“It doesn’t judge you”: Interrogating the anthropomorphic framing of AI-powered social robots and virtual assistants in the South African press
Susan Brokensha
L2 activation during L1 processing is constrained by L2 proficiency, exposure and use
Robyn Berghoff & Emanuel Bylund
11:30-12:00The naming of birds in ǀXam and other TUU languages of southern Africa: a preliminary report
Menán du Plessis & Johan Meyer
Translingual Pedagogical Practice: A strategy to resuscitate indigenous languages at a South African institution
Letsela Motaung
A Critical Analysis of the discursive representation of homelessness in News 24, District Mail and GroundUp from 2018-2020
Lauren Mongie & Rebecca Pitt
Cross-linguistic influence: The case of Oluchiga L1 speakers in Rwanda’s monolingual education system
Jean de Dieu Amini Ngabonziza
12:00-12:30Click Consonants in Post-Shift Lexical Retention: Some Preliminary Observations
Camilla Rose Christie
Language and Communication Challenges when Learning Science in a lower Primary School
Sibusiso Cliff Ndlangamandla & Irene Kimani
Selected speeches from three world leaders in reaction to the
Covid-19 pandemic: A comparative linguistic analysis

Romaana Muhammad & Heike Tappe
Investigating orthographic knowledge in isiXhosa home-language grade 3 learners and its relationship to reading and spelling
Mikaela Daries
 Zoom Session
Zoom Session
Zoom Session
Zoom Session
13:30–14:00Investigating possible changes to the TRAP vowel in Black South African English: A (post-)Bobdian analysis
Rajend Mesthrie & Yolandi Ribbens-Klein
Aligning San language and education programmes to the National Qualifications Framework
Amanda Siegrühn & Julie Grant
A corpus based discourse analysis of the rhetoric of former Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe
Prosper Takavarasha  
The contributions of phonological awareness and decoding on spelling in isiXhosa grade 3 learners
Mikaela Daries, Tracy Probert & Maxine Schaefer
14:00–14:30Striving for quality education in South Africa: Strides and strolls on the language in education path
Colleen du Plessis & Lodewyk Theodorus du Plessis
A compendium of dangerous speech: A case of Twitter-discourse between Zimbabwean political actors
Peter Junior Tshetu
In the eye of the test taking author: Measuring ESL students cognitive processing during receptive/productive comprehension tasks using eye-tracking technology
Karien van den Berg & Gordon Matthew
14:30–15:00Embodied stereotypes: Coconut Kelz and the parodic performance of coco-nuttiness
Yolandi Ribbens-Klein
Towards epistemic justice: Constructing knowers in multilingual classrooms
Caroline Kerfoot & Basirat Bello-Nonjengele
Examining Twitter Discourses on Xenophobic Attacks in South Africa
Favour Solomon-Uriri & Heike Tappe
15:00–15:30TEA / COFFEE BREAK
15:30–16:30KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Prof Leketi Makelela
Breaking the walls of colonial education: Translanguaging as a policy for schooling in the Global South
16:30Social event

Wednesday 22nd September, 2021

09:00Day 2 Opening
09:15–09:45Introduction to the SADiLaR | SU Child Language development node
09:45-10:45KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Dr Katie Alcock
Language development in sub-Saharan Africa
10:45–11:00TEA / COFFEE
 Zoom Session
Zoom Session
Zoom Session
11:00–11:30Adaptation and development of the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventory (CDI) for South African languages
Heather Brookes, Sefela Yalala, Olebeng Mahura et al
The search for Verb-stranding VP Ellipsis in isiXhosa
Xiujie Ma & Ron Simango
Longer interactional projects in interviews, the differences between narrative and non-narrative accounts and the implications for qualitative educational research
William Kelleher & Andries Masenge
11:30–12:00Vocabulary size of Afrikaans-speaking toddlers: Influence of health-related and household-related risk factors across SES groups
Michelle White, Nina Brink, Helena Oosthuizen & Frenette Southwood
Object-marked NPs in isiZulu in relation to definiteness and specificity
Jochen Zeller
Changing metaphors in HIV & AIDS in education policies in South Africa
Johanita Kirsten & Jacques Heyns
12:00-12:30Measuring early gesture and lexical development in Setswana-speaking infants
Sefela Yalala
Nominal Phrase Structure in Ikyaushi (M.402)
Troy E  Spier
Negotiating language policies in the linguistic landscape: A comparison of two rural South African case studies
Chrismi Loth & Michael M Kretzer
 Zoom Session
Zoom Session
Zoom Session
Zoom Session
13:30–14:00Sociocultural Factors Affecting Vocabulary Development in Young South African Children
Mikateko Ndhambi et al
Auxiliary constructions in Southern Bantu languages
Hannah Gibson & Kristina Riedel
Contrastive pragmatic study of English and Bete personal pronouns and deictics
Tape Armel Seri
Enhancing English multimodal communication and student interaction in synchronous online teaching
Jose Belda-Medina
14:00–14:30Is daar verskille in die bemeestering van w-vrae deur Afrikaanssprekende Grondslagfase-leerders van skole in mid- en lae sosio-ekonomiese status (SES) gebiede?
Joanine Nel & Frenette Southwood
Structural Ambiguity in Sesotho Substantive Phrases
Madira Thetso & Lemohang Tjabaka
“Go the F**k to Sleep”: An SFL-based multimodal analysis of meaning choices in a children’s book parody
Jade Smith
Exploring the strategies used to prepare student teachers to integrate “English Across the Curriculum strategy in South African universities
Nhlanhla Mpofu & Mncedisi C Maphalala
14:30–15:00Early use of articles does not mean early mastery: The case of Afrikaans-Speaking and South African English-Speaking Monolingual Four- to Nine-Year-Olds
Frenette Southwood & Michelle White
 Positive Politeness in Writing Centre Consultations with an Emphasis on Praise
Avasha Rambiritch
15:00–15:30TEA / COFFEE BREAK
15:30–16:30KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Prof Theresa Biberauer
Third Wave Generative Linguistics: an opportunity for South African linguists
16:30 – 16:45TEA / COFFEE BREAK

Thursday 23 September, 2021

09:15Day 3 Opening
 Zoom Session
Zoom Session
Zoom Session
09:30–10:00The impact of interpreting research in South Africa
Herculene Kotzé
Automatic Determination of Setswana Noun Classes
Gabofetswe Malema, Boago Okgetheng, Moffat Motlhanka & Goaletsa Rammidi
Historical sources for Early Afrikaans 1675-1925: Small (first) steps towards developing an online historical corpus and archive for linguistic research
Roné Wierenga & Wannie Carstens
10:00–10:30Exploring challenges of translating culturally vulgar words from English to Xitsonga
Mafemani Joseph Baloyi
The automation of the isiZulu noun prefix for pedagogy
Mthuli Buthelezi
The Burden of Writing in African Languages
Tebogo Maahlamela
10:30-11:00The novice writer as editor: Using peer editing as part of formative feedback in academic writing in an online teaching-learning environment
Elsa Meihuizen & Mariska Nel
The exploration of syntactic links: subject-verb agreement defilement in Sesotho
Madira Thetso
11:00–11:30TEA / COFFEE BREAK
11:30–12:30KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Prof Panos Athanasopoulos
Learning to think in another language: The case of motion
12:30Closing & Awards

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SALALS virtual conference 2021

SALALS virtual conference 2021

21-23 September, 2021

The annual conference of the Southern African Linguistics and Applied Linguistics Society (SALALS), with participation by the South African Association of Language Teachers (SAALT), will be hosted in 2021 by the Department of General Linguistics at Stellenbosch University with support from the South African Centre for Digital Language Resources (SADiLaR).

The Department of General Linguistics is honoured to be the host organiser this year as it is the 50+ anniversary celebration of the founding of the department – the Department opened its doors in 1970 and has overseen the linguistic education of many undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as producing innovative research over the last 50 years.

The conference will take place over Zoom and will consist of live-streamed pre-recorded presentations, followed by live virtual discussions. There will be various parallel paper sessions and the programme will be available shortly. The pre-recorded presentations will be hosted/archived on the online platform Open Science Framework (OSF).

Keynote presentations will take place live over Zoom. A Slack workspace will be created for participants to chat before, during, and after the live sessions. Virtual social events and society AGMs will also be scheduled on the programme.

Pre-recorded presentations will be provided with English captions/subtitles, while papers related to sign language linguistics will be interpreted into/from South African Sign Language (SASL). Live discussion sessions for papers in languages other than English will be accompanied by simultaneous interpreting into English. SASL interpreting will also be provided for select keynotes and papers.

See here for the 1st call for papers.

The conference will be preceded on Monday, 20 September, 2021 by two workshops hosted by SADiLaR: (i) an introduction to working with digital text, using Voyant tools and Regular expressions, where participants will gain new experience on how to analyse and read digital texts in an online environment, with no prior experience required; and (ii) an introduction to ELAN, where participants will gain experience in using ELAN to annotate video and audio recordings, again with no prior experience required. (See here for more information.)


Registration is now open and the extended deadline for presenter registration is 6 September. Registration for non-presenting participants remains open! The conference fee for the SALALS virtual 2021 conference is as follows (this fee includes membership of SALALS for 2021):
Student rate R250 (does not apply to students with tenured, faculty jobs)
Standard rate R700

Current paid-up members of SALALS qualify for a discount of the full conference fee. You will need to upload a proof of membership as part of registration. This can be obtained from the membership secretary, Ms Nina Brink (


The first draft programme is now available. Zoom links for keynotes and paper sessions will be sent to registered participants closer to the time.

Keynote speakers

Prof Anne Baker (Stellenbosch University and the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Prof Leketi Makalela (University of the Witwatersrand)

Dr Katie Alcock (Lancaster University, UK)

Prof Theresa Biberauer (University of Cambridge, UK and Stellenbosch University)

Prof Panos Athanasopoulos (Lancaster University and Stellenbosch University)

Conference Posts
  • 1st Call for papers – SALALS virtual conference 2021