I am a linguist working in the Department of African and Ethiopian Studies at the University of Hamburg (Germany). I am also a Research Associate at SOAS University of London (UK) and a Research Fellow at the University of the Free State (South Africa).
I hold a PhD and MSc in Linguistics from Georgetown University (USA) and a MA and BA in Modern and Medieval Languages from the University of Cambridge (UK). After completing my PhD, I was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for African Language Diversity (CALDi) at the University of Cape Town (South Africa) and a Lecturer in Linguistics and Languages of Asia and Africa at SOAS University of London (UK).
My research interests include language documentation, description and revitalisation, language maintenance and shift, language policy, language contact, and language and education. My work focuses on linguistic diversity and minorities. I work predominantly with multilingual individuals and communities, who speak heritage, minority and/or endangered languages.
I have a long-standing interest in research in southern Africa and have conducted linguistic fieldwork on a number of African languages, including N/uu (South Africa), siPhuthi (Lesotho), !Xun (Namibia) and ǂHoan (Botswana), and on German in Namibia and South Africa. I have also worked on my mother tongue, Gujarati, as spoken by diaspora communities living in England, Singapore and South Africa.
21 February 2022
On the occasion of International Mother Language Day, I spoke about safeguarding languages around the world, with a focus on Africa, at an event organised by the United Nations Office in Geneva. See more here.
11 January 2022
We trained six ebaPhuthi in language documentation methods in Lesotho in November 2021. Read our blog post here.
9 May 2021
I have been awarded a Major Documentation Project (MDP) grant from the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme. The project "A multimedia corpus of siPhuthi" will kick off on 1 August 2021.
Click here for more news.
... AND IN OTHER NEWS: The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, met with Katrina Esau during the National Heritage Day celebration held in Upington on 24 September 2019 and received a copy of our N/uu reader.
Check out our gallery to see who else enjoyed our N/uu reader!
Left: Photo courtesy of the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB).