Digital Humanities Researcher


Mr Deon du Plessis

Digital Humanities Researcher:



Deon is the SADiLaR researcher for English. His interests and experience especially relate to phonetics – the way speech sounds. This has included the ways in which South Africans express the diversity of their identities through English, how English changes in a postcolonial context, and how people build bridges between themselves and each other through language. He hopes to grow people’s access to shared information through English as a shared language, promote English as but one thread in our multilingual fabric, and grow South African research capacity with new technologies.


MA in Linguistics and Literary Theory (cum laude, North-West University); PhD in Linguistics (current, University of Cape Town)

Work experience and professional involvement:

Deon started working as an academic interpreter at the North-West University during his undergraduate studies. Later, he provided research assistance to academics such as Ian Bekker and Andries Coetzee, who have since become both mentors and dear friends. He has given practical application to this research through teaching (variously as a tutor and lecturer) English literature, French, and linguistics to first year up to honours level students.



  • Du Plessis, D. & Bekker, I. 2014. To “err” is human: The case for neorhoticity in White South African English. Language Matters, 45(1): 23-39.
  • Du Plessis, D., Bekker, I. & Hickey, R. 2020. Regionality in South African English. (In Hickey, R., ed. English in Multilingual South Africa: The Linguistics of Contact and Change. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. pp. 74-100.)



Proff. Ian Bekker, Andries Coetzee, Rajend Mesthrie, John Nerbonne, Daan Wissing