Menán du Plessis

My earliest tertiary studies were at the University of Cape Town, where I took courses in English language and literature, anglophone and francophone African literature, Xhosa, German and Italian, plus courses in linguistics with John Coetzee. In 1983, I became the first tutor in the newly established department of linguistics at UCT, where I embarked on doctoral studies under Roger Lass. During this early period, I also published two novels. The 1980s were difficult times in South Africa, however, and my increasing involvement in the democratic movement soon necessitated a withdrawal from both academia and the world of literature. With my health subsequently damaged, I focused for a time on raising my two daughters, but finally resumed postgraduate studies in linguistics, this time with an emphasis on Khoisan languages. I received my PhD from UCT in 2009, and am now an extraordinary associate professor in the department of general linguistics at Stellenbosch University. I live in Cape Town with my husband, Renfrew Christie.

Kora: A lost Khoisan Language: an interview

Menán van Heerden, Menán du Plessis Books and writers 2019-03-26

On Wednesday, 27 March 2019 (13h00–15h00) at Stellenbosch University, linguist Menán du Plessis will talk about her book, Kora: A lost Khoisan Language of the early Cape and the Gariep. Menán van Heerden chats to Menán du Plessis about her book.

Indigenous “Khoisan” languages: an interview with Menán du Plessis

Menán van Heerden, Menán du Plessis Opinion 2018-02-15

"In fact, Nama is, for all practical purposes, the only extant Khoekhoe variety (and, indeed, the only Khoisan language of any kind) still spoken in South Africa today. Most of the remaining Nama speakers in South Africa (perhaps around 2 000 of them) are aged at least 50 or upwards, however, although attempts are now being made to reintroduce the language as an additional subject at schools in the Northern Cape." 

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