African languages in a new linguistic dispensation : challenges for research and teaching at universities
Inaugural lecture delivered on 09 April 2013.
Marianna Visser was born in 1957 and matriculated at Framesby High School in Port Elizabeth. Her tertiary studies commenced in 1976 at Stellenbosch University, where she obtained her BA in 1978, and her BA Honours (cum laude) in 1979, MA (cum laude) in 1981, and DLit in African languages in 1987. Her first academic position was at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, where she was appointed as lecturer from October 1981 to March 1986. In April 1986 she returned to her alma mater as lecturer in the Department of African Languages, where she later was promoted to senior lecturer and associate professor. She has served terms as Chair of the Department of African Languages and as Vice Dean (Languages) in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Since 2012 she has been appointed as professor in African languages. Marianna has read papers at various international conferences on African linguistics in South Africa and abroad. She has published in the field of syntax of the African languages, including the book Xhosa syntax, which she co-authored. She has also published in the field of second/additional learning and teaching of the African languages and she is a former editor of the South African Journal of African Languages. Her research interests further include genre-based literacy development at secondary school level and in tertiary education, genre studies, and the language of evaluation and appraisal in a variety of discourse contexts. She has been intensively involved in academic programme design for African languages and has supervised numerous master’s and doctoral studies.