‘Stressed and sexy – lexical borrowing in Xhosa’ by Tessa Dowling

African Languages academic Dr Tessa Dowling will give a Fine Minds lecture entitled ‘Stressed and sexy – lexical borrowing in Xhosa’. Though in the 1850s the ‘expert’ view was that ‘the Xhosa language will soon be supplanted by English’, Dowling shows how Xhosa, the first language of more than eight million South Africans, is today doing what thriving languages do naturally – keeping robust and relevant through linguistic promiscuity and bold borrowing.
Tessa Dowling is senior lecturer in the Department of African Languages at the University of Cape Town. Her research focuses on new varieties of African languages as well as South Africa’s geosemiotic landscapes and the way language impacts on understandings of health and medical intervention among speakers of African languages.