Lorato Mokwena

Current Fellows: Linguistics Department, PhD

Lorato Mokwena is currently completing her PhD in Linguistics under the supervision of Prof Felix Banda. She obtained her B.A. (Summa cum Laude), B.A. Honours in Linguisitcs (Cum Laude) and M.A (Cum Laude) in Linguistics at the University of the Western Cape.

Lorato’s main research interests include online media linguistic practices, semiotic remediation, stylisation of identities and linguistic landscapes.

Her Honours project was titled “A Stylistic analysis of Facebook usage among UWC students” and it focused on how UWC students and their localisation of Facebook – a global product.
Her Master’s thesis was titled “Stylisation of identities in online discourses related to The Spear” on Sowetan LIVE”. This gist of research focused on how the youth on SowetanLive (a South Africa online newspaper) constructed the South African identity through comments on online newspaper articles. The research project also explored the linguistic practices of the commenters and how commenters drew on repurposing.

Her PhD thesis is titled “A social semiotic analysis of the linguistic landscape of two district municipalities in the Northern Cape, South Africa”. The study is interested in analysing various semiotic resources drawn on in the creation, narration and negotiation of the rural landscape.

Two main contributions of her PhD work: (1) by focusing on the LL of areas classified as rural areas, this study adds to the almost non-existent body of knowledge on the LL of rural areas globally; and (2) by approaching the study from a multimodal social semiotic, material culture of multilingualism/multiculturalism and semiotic ecology of LL theoretical and analytical frameworks, the study contributes to the development of novel tool kits in the field of linguistic landscapes.