isiXhosa is a Bantu language with immense cultural and linguistic significance in South Africa and Zimbabwe. As part of the Bantu language family, isiXhosa shares commonalities with other Bantu languages while exhibiting its own unique features. However, the Bantu languages, including isiXhosa, have been severely understudied resulting in a significant knowledge gap in language processing. Bantu languages, such as isiXhosa, possess a rich grammatical gender system and morphological complexity that significantly differ from other languages.
To address these gaps, a collaborative project led by Dr. Robyn Berghoff from Stellenbosch University and Dr. Khanyisa Jonas from the University of the Western Cape aims to investigate morphological representation and processing in both first language (L1) isiXhosa speakers and beginner and early intermediate L2 learners of isiXhosa.
The findings from this project are expected to have significant academic impact, addressing the existing knowledge gaps regarding Bantu languages, particularly isiXhosa.