Exploring the Northern Sotho language name discrepancies in informative documentation and among first language speakers

  • Tebogo Jacob Rakgogo
  • Linda van Huyssteen


This article is based on a survey that aimed to explore the Northern Sotho language name discrepancies in informative and descriptive documentation and also in general language use. The survey was conducted in two selected South African universities (Tshwane University of Technology (A) and the University of Limpopo (B)). The quota sampling method was used to gather data from 90 students and ten lecturers who were then doing Northern Sotho as a first-language module or teaching any of these modules, their age groups varying from 17 to 75. These students and lecturers participated by responding to survey questionnaires and the lecturers additionally took part in interviews. The causes for the use of Sepedi and Sesotho sa Leboa in informative documentation and in general language, as well as the language name which was preferred by the research participants were investigated, based on the mixed-methods research approach. From a sociolinguistic perspective, the survey strove to ascertain which of the two language names the research participants preferred and why. It was found that Sesotho sa Leboa was the name opted for by most of the research participants who considered Sepedi as a dialect, not as a standard language.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2305-1159
print ISSN: 0257-2117