Johanita Kirsten (senior lecturer)

Johanita Kirsten (lecturer)

Johanita Kirsten, senior lecturer in Afrikaans Linguistics at the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University, is interested in the development of Afrikaans from Dutch, as well as grammatical changes in Afrikaans. Her M.A. dissertation, titled Laaste spore van Nederlands in Afrikaanse werkwoorde, under supervision of Prof. Bertus van Rooy at the NWU Vaal Triangle Campus, investigates the transition phase from the use of Dutch to Afrikaans as written language, and how certain verbal constructions behave during this phase. She recently completed her PhD, titled Grammatikale verandering in Afrikaans van 1911 tot 2010. In her thesis, she investigates the changes of micro-linguistic characteristics over time, on the basis of dated electronic corpora of Cape Dutch and Afrikaans texts. The focus is on texts from the early twentieth to early twenty first centuries, expanding on the little available literature that focuses on researching language change in texts from that specific period of time. Furthermore, the specifics of the changes in Afrikaans also enter into a discussion in the theory of language change and language contact within a cognitive linguistic framework. She is currently working on publishing more articles from her thesis.

Professional associations:
Linguistics Society of Southern Africa (LSSA)

Research interests:
Afrikaans historical linguistics
Theory of language change
Sociology of language, applied to Afrikaans in South Africa (with a historical focus)