Staff Profiles

Prof. Thapelo Joseph Otlogetswe


Faculty of Humanities


Deputy Dean

Location: Block 239 Room 208
Phone: +267 3552654
Email Prof. Thapelo Joseph Otlogetswe

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Corpus Lexicography - University of Pretoria
  • Post Graduate Certificate (Research) - (ITRI) University of Brighton.
  • Master of Philosophy, General Linguistics - University of Oxford.
  • PGDE - University of Botswana
  • BA - University of Botswana

Professor Otlogetswe is a professor of Linguistics and Lexicography and a recipient of the Presidential Order of Honour (PH) being an honour awarded for efficient and devoted service to the Republic of Botswana. Between 2019-2020 he was a Fulbright visiting professor in the Linguistics Department of the University of California, Davis.

His principal areas of interest are corpus linguistics and lexicography. Much of his research is in lexical computing, corpus lexicography, onomastics, rhyming patterns, genre and text type analysis. He has been involved in the development of Setswana spellcheckers and the compilation of a multi-million token Setswana corpus.

He has also compiled a number of dictionaries including Tlhalosi ya Medi ya Setswana, English-Setswana Dictionary, Oxford English Setswana Setswana English School Dictionary and Poeletso-medumo ya Setswana: a Setswana Rhyming dictionary. He has led the breakthrough translation work on the Setswana Google Search, OpenOffice and Firefox Setswana Spell-checkers. He is a member of the African Association of Lexicography and of the African Academy of Languages - which is a languages arm of the African Union. He also sits on the editorial boards of multiple academic journals.

His website is here:

  • Master Classes in lexicography.
  • Semantics
  • Introduction to linguistics
  • Classes in Phonetics
  • Syntactic theory
  • Writing classes
  • English Grammar

  • Lexicography.
  • Genre and text type analysis:
  • Statistical analysis of language
  • Corpus design and compilation of different languages and how the different components are included.
  • Word frequency distribution across language varieties
  • Measuring corpus similarity and differences.
  • Language on the web
  • The study of chatsite & sms data.
  • Onomastics
  • Setswana

Professor Otlogetswe has supervised a number of MA and PhD research projects on the following areas: 

  • Lexicography and lexicology
  • Language and technology
  • Onomastics
  • Setswana language and culture
  • Frequency profiling
  • Statistical linguistics
  • NLP
  • Corpus linguistics

  1. Otlogetswe, T.J. 2019. On the semantics of three Setswana personal names: Neo, Kabo and Mpho. Nomina Africana. 33(1) 9-17.
  2. Otlogetswe, T. J. 2017. Setswana syllable structure and distributionNordic Journal of African Studies. 26(4). 402 – 429.
  3. Otlogetswe, T. J. 2016. The design of Setswana ScrabbleSouth African Journal of African Languages (SAJAL). 36(2): 153-161.
  4. Otlogetswe, T. J. 2016. Setswana Oxford Living Dictionary. Oxford University Press: Oxford. (An Online dictionary here:
  5. Otlogetswe, T. J. 2015. Dipoeletso-ditumamodumo tsa Setswana: A dictionary of Setswana alliteration and Consonance. CASAS Book Series No. 116. Centre for Advanced Studies of African Society: Cape Town.
  6. Otlogetswe, T. J. 2013. Oxford English Setswana English School Dictionary, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
  7. Otlogetswe, T. J. 2012. Tlhalosi ya Medi ya Setswana (Setswana monolingual D

In pursuit of academic excellence