Staff Profiles

Ms. Keneilwe Matlhaku

M.A in Linguistics: California State University, Northridge, USA

Post Graduate Diploma in Education: University of Botswana

B.A Humanities: University of Botswana


I am a lecturer of Bantu Linguistics at the Univeristy of Botswana but I am currently away on study leave working on my PhD in Linguistics specializing in Language development. I obtained my BA degree in Humanities from the University of Botswana and a Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) from the same University. I won the Setswana Prize for best student in the Department of African Languages & Literature in 2001. In 2003 - 2004 I did my Masters degree in Linguistics at California State University in Northridge, USA. After completing my studies I was appointed lecturer, in the Department of African Languages & Literature in which I taught the following undergraduate courses in Bantu linguistics: Sound system of African languages; Introduction to Generative phonology; Introduction to Language and Linguistics; Introduction to the Characteristics of Human Languages;  Introduction to applied linguistics, Languages of Botswana, which is a sociolinguistics course; study of meaning (semantics); Setswana proficiency; Introduction to Rhetoric & Public Speaking. 

Bantu linguistics specifically phonology, applied linguistics (main focus on first acquisition, including perception & processing) & second language acquisition & learning); sociolinguistics (languages of Botswana), semantics and Setswana proficiency; general linguistics introductory courses. 

My research interests include Phonetics and Phonology (how speech sounds categorically pattern in a language & in the mind). I am also interested in language development & disorders in children; how they come to acquire their first language; the development of their competence through storing, retrieving & organizing the sound systems of their language(s); how they produce & combine these sounds when they speak including their speech developmental errors. 

1. Phonology, Phonetics & Child-language development

2. General linguistics specializing in Bantu linguistics

3. Bantu Phonology; Articulatory phonetics; Child-language development (including processing & perception)



Matlhaku, Keneilwe. (forthcoming). "Setswana Nasal-Consonant Sequences", MUN Occasional Papers in Linguistics 3, ed. S.Abdelhady, A. Cucinelli & T. Fatema

Matlhaku, Keneilwe and Batibo, H. M. 2017. The nature and origin of acronyms in Kiswahili and Setswana. JULACE: 2(2)

Letsholo, R. & Matlhaku, Keneilwe. 2017. Attitudes of University of Botswana’Undergraduate Students Towards Minority Languages in Botswana. SALAS 35 (3). 245 – 257

Matlhaku, Keneilwe. 2016. Phonological & Sociolinguistic factors in Setswana loanwords, In: Monwabisi Ralarala, Ken Barris, Eunice Ivala & Sibawu Siyepi (eds). African Languages & Language Practice Research in the 21st Century: Interdisciplinary Themes & Perspectives. Cape Town: CASAS 122:139-160

Wakumelo-Nkolola, M, Rantso, L, Matlhaku, Keneilwe. 2013Syllabification of Consonants in Sesotho & Setswana, In: Hugues Steve Ndinga-Koumba-Binza & Sonja Bosch (Eds), Language Science and Language Technology

In pursuit of academic excellence