Support Team

Martin Mössmer
MA (Linguistics)
Study Coordinator: General Linguistics, Stellenbosch University

Martin conducted his postgraduate research on Xri, a critically endangered Khoekhoe language, spoken in the Northern Cape. His research interests include the mutual influences between dominant languages and the Khoekhoe varieties and ‘Khoisan’ languages spoken in South Africa, language maintenance in these communities, varieties of ‘non-standard’ Afrikaans, folklore and stories among Khoekhoe speakers and rememberers, and the phonology, syntax and morphology of contact languages. As a part of the SA-CDI team since 2018, Martin has worked on the adaptation of the CDIs for South Africa’s eleven official languages, and to the ongoing research. He will continue his own research on contact phenomena in Khoekhoe and Griekwa Afrikaans in a PhD at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Sefela Yalala
MA (Linguistics)
Research Project Manager: General Linguistics, Stellenbosch University

Sefela’s postgraduate studies are focused on researching early language acquisition, especially within the contexts of Setswana-speaking children, her home language. Her interests are in infant and toddler language, the role of the social environment in language development, and early intervention. She has worked on adapting a language assessment tool (the CDI) into Setswana, and also consults on Sesotho and isiXhosa research. Sefela will continue her research with a PhD at Northwestern University in USA, where she will look at caregiver and child interactions and language intervention methods.

Patricia Makaure
PhD (Linguistics, Languages and Literature)
Postdoctoral Fellow: General Linguistics, Stellenbosch University

Patricia’s research interests are in early child language and literacy development. Her areas of expertise include phonological processing and literacy development in monolingual and multilingual children. As part of her MA and PhD studies, she produced language and literacy assessment tests in Sepedi (Northern Sotho), one of South Africa’s official languages.Patricia also has a deep passion for Data Science and its application in child language development and acquisition.

Carmen Coetsee
MA candidate, BA(Hons) (General Linguistics), Stellenbosch University
Research Assistant: General Linguistics, Stellenbosch University

Carmen’s MA focuses on child-directed speech in low SES communities in Stellenbosch. Specifically, the input that Afrikaans infants in these communities receive from caregivers. Carmen is a research assistant for the project Understanding Language Input in Early Childhood in South Africa, looking at parent-infant interaction and the immersive language of the infant. She previously worked on the Genie Wiley: A case of atypical language acquisition research project. Carmen’s research interests include child language and development, language acquisition theories and caregiver-child interactions.