The following is an in-progress bibliography of work on language and cognition conducted on the African continent. If you are aware of additional references that are not on this list, please contact us via email and we will add them.


Child language / language development:


Colletta, J.-M., Kunene Nicolas, R., & Guidetti, M. Gesture and speech in adults’ and children’s narratives. In M. Hickmann, E. Veneziano, & H. Jisa (Eds.), Sources of variation in first language acquisition. Languages, contexts, and learners (pp. 139–160). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Corver, N., Southwood, F., & van Hout, R. (2013). Specific language impairment as a syntax-phonology (PF) interface problem: Evidence from Afrikaans. Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics, 41(0), 71. doi:10.5774/41-0-134  

Gagiano, S., & Southwood, F. (2015). The use of digit and sentence repetition in the identification of language impairment: The case of child speakers of Afrikaans and South African English. Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics, 44. doi:10.5774/44-0-187  

Haman, E., Łuniewska, M., Hansen, P., Simonsen, H. G., Chiat, S., Bjekić, J., . . . Armon-Lotem, S. (2017). Noun and verb knowledge in monolingual preschool children across 17 languages: Data from Cross-linguistic Lexical Tasks (LITMUS-CLT). Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, 31(11-12), 818–843. doi:10.1080/02699206.2017.1308553  

Kunene Nicolas, R. (2015). Zulu oral narrative development from a speech and gesture perspective. Per Linguam, 31(3). doi:10.5785/31-3-560  

Kunene Nicolas, R., & Ahmed, S. (2016). Lexical development of noun and predicate comprehension and production in isiZulu. South African Journal of Communication Disorders, 63(2), 96. doi:10.4102/sajcd.v63i2.169  

Kunene Nicolas, R., Guidetti, M., & Colletta, J.-M. (2017). A cross-linguistic study of the development of gesture and speech in Zulu and French oral narratives. Journal of Child Language, 44(1), 36–62. doi:10.1017/s0305000915000628  

Łuniewska, M., Haman, E., Armon-Lotem, S., Etenkowski, B., Southwood, F., Anđelković, D., . . . Ünal-Logacev, Ö. (2016). Ratings of age of acquisition of 299 words across 25 languages: Is there a cross-linguistic order of words? Behavior Research Methods, 48(3), 1154–1177. doi:10.3758/s13428-015-0636-6  

Nel, J., & Southwood, F. (2016). The comprehension and production of quantifiers in isiXhosa-speaking Grade 1 learners. South African Journal of Communication Disorders, 63(2), 65. doi:10.4102/sajcd.v63i2.138  

Oosthuizen, H., Höhle, B., & Southwood, F. (2011). Motion events in Afrikaans: their expression by adult speakers and by children with and without language impairment. Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics Plus, 40(0). doi:10.5842/40-0-5  

Perold Potgieter, A., & Southwood, F. (2016). A comparison of proficiency levels in 4-year-old monolingual and trilingual speakers of Afrikaans, isiXhosa and South African English across SES boundaries, using LITMUS-CLT. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, 30(2), 87–100. doi:10.3109/02699206.2015.1110715  

Southwood, F., & Oosthuizen, H. (2020). Afrikaanse taalvariasie: Uitdagings vir regverdige meting van jong kinders se taal. Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics Plus, 59, 81–104.

Southwood, F., & van Dulm, O. (2016). Unlocking later-developing language skills in older children by means of focused language stimulation. Per Linguam, 32(2). doi:10.5785/32-2-650  

Southwood, F., & van Hout, R. (2010). Production of tense morphology by Afrikaans-speaking children with and without Specific Language Impairment. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 53(2), 394–413. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/07-0286 )  


Southwood, F., & White, M. J. (In press). The elicited production of part/whole and general/specific articles by 4- to 9-year-old Afrikaans-speaking and South African English-speaking children. Language Matters.

Southwood, F., & White, M. J. (2020). Fast mapping of verbs in Afrikaans-speaking children from low and mid socioeconomic backgrounds and children with language impairment. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, 21(1), 1–18. doi:10.1080/02699206.2020.1839968


White, M. J. (2019). The development of English proficiency and working memory in 5–6 year old ELLs in their first year of formal education. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 228(02), 1–16. doi:10.1080/13670050.2019.1571009  


White, M. J. (2020). Phonological working memory and non-verbal complex working memory as predictors of future English outcomes in young ELLs. International Journal of Bilingualism, 12, 136700692094813. doi:10.1177/1367006920948136  

Linguistic relativity:


Bylund, E., & Athanasopoulous, P. (2014). Language and thought in a multilingual context:

The case of isiXhosa. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 17(02), 431–441. doi:10.1017/S1366728913000503          


Bylund, E., & Athanasopoulos, P. (2015). Motion event categorisation in a nativised variety

of South African English. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 18(5), 588–601. doi:10.1080/13670050.2015.1027145        

Bylund, E., Athanasopoulos, P., & Oostendorp, M. (2013). Motion event cognition and grammatical aspect: Evidence from Afrikaans. Linguistics, 51(5). doi:10.1515/ling-2013-0033            



Braver, A., & Bennett, W. G. (2016). Phonotactic c(l)ues to Bantu noun class disambiguation. Linguistics Vanguard, 2(1), 85. doi:10.1515/lingvan-2016-0062       


Kula, N. C., & Braun, B. (2015). Mental representation of tonal spreading in Bemba: Evidence from elicited production and perception. Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, 33(3), 307–323. doi:10.2989/16073614.2015.1108768          


Working memory / Executive functioning:


Cockcroft, K., Wigdorowitz, M., & Liversage, L. (2019). A multilingual advantage in the components of working memory. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 22(1), 15–29. doi:10.1017/S1366728917000475      


Lexical processing:


Berghoff, R., McLoughlin, J., & Bylund, E. (2021). L1 activation during L2 processing is modulated by both age of acquisition and proficiency. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 58(2), 100979. doi:10.1016/j.jneuroling.2020.100979  

Morphosyntactic processing:


Berghoff, R. 2020. L2 processing of filler-gap dependencies: Attenuated effects of naturalistic L2 exposure in a multilingual setting. Second Language Research, 25. doi:10.1177/0267658320945757  


Berghoff, R. 2020. The processing of object–subject ambiguities in early second-language acquirers. Applied Psycholinguistics, 24, 1–30. doi:10.1017/s0142716420000314  


Ciaccio, L. A., Kgolo, N., & Clahsen, H. (2020). Morphological decomposition in Bantu: a masked priming study on Setswana prefixation. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 21(2), 1–15. doi:10.1080/23273798.2020.1722847      


Kgolo, N., & Eisenbeiss, S. (2015). The role of morphological structure in the processing of complex forms: evidence from Setswana deverbative nouns. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 30(9), 1116–1133. doi:10.1080/23273798.2015.1053813        


Eisenbeiss, S., Clackson, K., Kgolo, N. N., Papadopoulou, L., Fickel, J., & Schmid, S. (2013). Collecting reaction-time and eye-movement measurements outside the traditional lab-setting, using DMDX, ELAN, and CHAT/CLAN. Retrieved from