African languages, linguistics, child speech and speech pathology – the connection

  • Sandile Gxilishe


This article deals with the need for the incorporation of the study of child language in the field of African Linguistics. It gives an overview of some of the studies conducted in the area of acquisition of Xhosa with a view to developing norms for the development of Xhosa amongst monolingual Xhosa-speaking children. This is useful in the diagnosis of speech and language disorders using criterion referenced measures. The developmental data may be used in the development of culturally appropriate standardised assessment measures: which are severely lacking for the indigenous languages of South Africa.

Author Biography

Sandile Gxilishe
Sandile Gxilishe is at present an Associate Professor in the School of Languages and Literature at the University of Cape Town, Private Bag, Rondebosch, 7701, South Africa. His chief interests are Acquisition Research in both First and Second Language as well as First and Second Language Teaching and Learning.E-mail: