Department of African Languages

Prof ML Mojapelo (Sesotho sa Leboa)

College of Human Sciences
School of Arts
Department: African Languages
Associate Professor
Tel: 012 429 8038
Fax: 012 429 3221


  • JSTC (Setotolwane College of Education) BA (University of South Africa)
  • BA Honours (African Languages: University of South Africa)
  • MA (African Languages: University of Stellenbosch)
  • DLit (African Languages: University of Stellenbosch) 

Fields of academic interests

Research interests

  • Theoretical linguistics (Northern Sotho)
  • Applied linguistics (Northern Sotho) 

Field of Specialisation

  • Sesotho sa Leboa (Northern Sotho) linguistics 


Book chapters:

  • Matseleng Mokhwesana & Mampaka Mojapelo.2005. Matubule, ngwana ’a mma. In Van Schalkwyk, A, (Ed.) 11 South African Folk Tales, 11 Official Languages: A Celebration of Democracy and Cultural Diversity. Gardenview: Zytek Publishing. 

Journal articles

  • Mojapelo M.L. 2014. Storytelling and meaning reconstruction: a metaphorical perspective. Southern African Folklore Studies Vol. 24(2): 159- 169. ISSN: 1016-8427
  • Mojapelo, M.L., 2013, ‘Re-examining the relationship between the subject agreement morpheme and (in)definiteness in Northern Sotho’, Literator 34(1), Art. #377, 8 pages.
  • Mojapelo, Mampaka L. 2011. Ngwana’ ditlhaka: early affirmation of motherhood. Journal of Southern African Folklore Studies Vol. 21(1): 77- 87.
  • Mojapelo, Mampaka L. 2009. Morphology and semantics of proper names in Northern Sotho. South African Journal of African Languages Vol. 29(2): 179 -191.
  • Mojapelo, Mampaka L. 2003. The external arguments of weather verbs in Northern Sotho. South African Journal of African Languages Vol. 23(3): 154 -162.

Paper presentations

Peer reviewed conference proceedings:

  • Mojapelo, Mampaka Lydia. 2014. Morphosyntactic discrepencies in representing the adjective equivalent in African WordNet with reference to Northern Sotho. In Heili Orav, Christiane Fellbaum & Piek Vossen (Eds): Proceedings of the Seventh Global WordNet Conference2014 (GWC2014), p. 148-153. Tartu, Estonia.
  • Mojapelo, Mampaka L. 2013. The semantics of Northern Sotho verbs as translated from English: comments on the African languages Wordnet Project. In Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk, B. and M. Thelen (eds.), Translation and Meaning Part 10. Proceedings of the Lodz Session of the 5th International Maastricht-Lodz Duo Colloquium on “Translation and Meaning”, Held inLodz  (Poland),  16-19  September  2010.  P.143-156.  Maastricht:  Maastricht  School  of Translation and Interpreting, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences.

Conference/ seminar papers:

  • 16 Local and international papers – developed into journal articles and conference proceedings.

Other presentations/ reports:

  • N. Sotho basic kinship terms and cultural roles Presentation during the Visit of German Students of Northern Sotho from Humboldt University, Berlin: September 2007; Dept. of African Languages, Unisa.
  • Is Khelovedu a dialect or a language? Report on a research project: PanSALB Research Projects Reports Meeting: September 2002; CSIR, Pretoria.
  • Phonetics and Phonological Processes : Presentation to Northern Sotho Secondary Teachers Diploma (STD) Lecturers; Northern Province Colleges of Education. (1) 1994: Held at Sekgosese College of Education. (2)1995: Held at Sekhukhune College of Educatio 

Professional positions, fellowships & awards

  • Executive Board Member & Treasurer: African Language Association of Southern Africa (ALASA) , 2009 – Current 


  • African WordNet
  • SeLA (Scientific e-Lexicography for Africa) 


Other departmental matters:

  • Programme Coordinator: BA Hons (African Languages)
  • Coordinator: Research and Innovation Committee