Menan Du Plessis

Menan Du Plessis studied at the University of Cape Town, where she 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 she became the first tutor in the newly established Department of Linguistics at UCT, where she began she doctoral studies under Roger Lass. These were difficult times in South Africa, however, and her active involvement in the democratic movement led to her temporary withdrawal from academia. With her health subsequently damaged, she focused for a time on raising her two daughters, but later resumed postgraduate studies in Linguistics with a focus this time on African languages, and received her PhD in Linguistics from UCT in 2009. Her book on Kora (or !Ora),which was the Khoekhoe language spoken by the original Khoi inhabitants of the early Cape and the Gariep, was published by Unisa Press in collaboration with SA History Online at the end of 2018, and she had the immense privilege in July 2019 of handing over copies of the book to elders of the Korana and Griqua communities in Bloemfontein during the Vrystaat Kunstefees.  She is currently an Associate Professor Extraordinary in the Department of General Linguistics at Stellenbosch University, and is now working on a reference grammar and dictionary for ǀXam, which was a !Ui language spoken by San communities south of the Gariep.