Dr Kristina Riedel
Senior Lecturer
Linguistics and Language Practice
23 201
Linguistics and Language Practice
Internal Box 27
Stef Coetzee Building 201

Short CV

Kristina Riedel received her Ph.D. from Leiden University in 2009. She is currently a senior lecturer at the Department of Linguistics and Language Practice at the University of the Free State. Before joining UFS, Riedel was the director of the Sub-Saharan African languages program and acting director for the Center for Language Instruction and Coordination (CLIC) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Between February 2009 and August 2011, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for General Linguistics (ZAS) in Berlin, Germany, working on a Franco-German research project on the phonology-syntax interface in the Bantu languages. Her research interests are centered around the interactions of agreement and word order in the Bantu languages, Bantu syntax and the description of Bantu languages more generally.

Her current research activities include leading the Seshegopuo project (2021-2023) which is funded by SADiLaR to create annotated corpora for Sesotho, Setswana and Sepedi (Sesotho sa Leboa) in collaboration with Dr Hannah Gibson (Essex). She is a prinicipal investigator for the Microvariation in Bantu languages of South Africa: Building theories from typology data project (2021-2027) with project leader Prof Seunghun Lee (ICU) and collaborators in Japan and South Africa. Visit the project website here. She is also a member of the project Agreement Mismatches in Experimental Syntax: from Slavic to Bantu (2018 - 2022).

She has been a member of the Southern African Linguistics and Applied Linguistics Society (SALALS) Executive Committee since 2019 where she has been serving as convenor for Linguistics since 2021. She serves as associate editor of the journal Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies. She co-organises the Southern African Linguistics Network which hosts monthly online seminars in African linguistics. You can subscribe to the SALN newsletter here.

She is the team leader for the Digital Humanities Open Educational Resources (OER) Champions project entitled Decolonising syntax teaching materials for South African higher education. She is joint holder of a British Academy Writing Workshop grant. Past grants include a British Academy Newton Mobility Grant 2018-2019 for the project Variation in Sesotho and Setswana as spoken in the Free State.

Contact me: riedelk@ufs.ac.za




Articles & Book chapters:

  • De Vos, Mark and Kristina Riedel. 2023, ‘Decolonising and transforming curricula for teaching linguistics and language in South Africa: Taking stock and charting the way forward’, Transformation in Higher Education 8. Open Access via https://doi.org/10.4102/the.v8i0.200 
  • Riedel, Kristina. 2022. Object marking in Bantu: reassessing agreement. In Andrew Nevins, Anita Peti-Stantic, Mark de Vos, and Jana Willer-Gold (eds.). Angles of Object Agreement (Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics 81). Oxford University Press.  110-132. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780192897749.003.0005
  • Gibson, Hannah, Lutz Marten, Maarten Mous and Kristina Riedel. 2022. Applicatives and prepositions in Bantu.  In Pacchiarotti, Sara & Fernando Zu´n~iga (eds). Applicative morphology: Neglected syntactic and non-syntactic functions (Trends in Linguistics Studies and Monographs 373). Berlin: De Gruyter. 163-188. DOI: 10.1515/9783110777949-007
  • 2022. Riedel, Kristina and Julius Taji. 2022. Animacy based concord in Chiyao. Southern African Journal of African Languages 42(2). 190-199. DOI: 10.1080/02572117.2022.2094039
  • Lee, Seunghun and Kristina Riedel. 2021. Pre-nominal DP modifiers and penultimate lengthening in Xitsonga. SPiL Plus 62. 107-134. DOI: 10.5842/62-0-907 Open Access via this link
  • 2021. Mokoaleli, ’Maseanakoena, Kristina Riedel & Makoto Furumoto. 2021. Sesotho (S33). In Seunghun Lee, Yuko Abe, & Daisuke Shinagawa (eds.), Descriptive materials of morphosyntactic microvariation in Bantu vol. 2: A microparametric survey of morphosyntactic microvariation in Southern Bantu languages,. Tokyo: Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa (ILCAA).
  • 2019. Riedel, Kristina, Hannah Sarvasy & Katherine Demuth. The Narrative Past Inflection in Sesotho Child and Child-Directed Speech. Frontiers in Communication 4. 69. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fcomm.2019.00069
  • 2017. “Swahili Coordinated Infinitives”. In Journal of African Languages and Linguistics 38(2): 265-288. - with Mark de Vos.
  • 2012. “Locative ‘object’ marking and the argument-adjunct distinction”. In Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 30(2). – with Lutz Marten
  • 2011. “Question structure and intonation in Fipa”. In Downing, Laura J. (eds.), Questions in Bantu languages: prosodies and positions (ZAS Papers in Linguistics 55), 211-225. Berlin: ZAS. – with Cédric Patin
  • 2011. “What the Bantu languages can tell us about word order and movement”. In Lingua 121:689-701. – with Leston C. Buell and Jenneke van der Wal.
  • 2010. “Coordination and subject/object marking in Sambaa”. In Karsten Legère and Christina Thornell (eds.). Bantu Languages: Analyses, Description and Theory. Cologne: R. Köppe. 217-228.
  • 2010. “Relative clauses in Haya”. In Downing, Laura J., Annie Rialland, Jean-Marc Beltzung, Sophie Manus, Cédric Patin & Kristina Riedel (eds.). Papers from the workshop on Bantu relative clauses (ZAS Papers in Linguistics 53). Berlin: ZAS.
  • 2009. “Object marking in wh-questions in Bantu”. In Akinloye Ojo and Lioba Moshi (eds.), Selected proceedings of the 39th annual conference on African linguistics: Linguistic research and languages in Africa. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project. 67-76.
  • 2007. “Object Marking in Sambaa”. In Linguistics in the Netherlands 2007. 199-210.

Edited Volumes:

  • 2021. Special issue of Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics Plus (SPiL Plus) Volume 62. Crossing boundaries: a Festschrift for Laura Downing. Guest editor, with Cédric Patin and Seunghun Lee. Open Access via this link
  • 2018. Special issue of Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics Plus (SPiL Plus) Volume 54. Guest editor, with Mark de Vos. Open Access via this link
  • 2017. Special issue of Nordic Journal of African Studies 26 (4) ‘Recent approaches to the study of Bantu languages’. Guest editor, with Lutz Marten and Andrew van der Spuy. Open Access via this link
  • 2012. Special issue of Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies on subject and object marking in Bantu. Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 30(2). Guest editor, with Lutz Marten, Ron Simango and Jochen Zeller. <http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.2989/16073614.2012.737606#>
  • 2011. Special issue of Lingua with the proceedings of Movement and Word Order in Bantu. Lingua 121(5). Guest editor, with Leston C. Buell and Jenneke van der Wal.
  • 2010. Papers from the workshop on Bantu relative clauses (ZAS Papers in Linguistics 53). Editor, with Laura Downing, Annie Rialland, Jean-Marc Beltzung, Sophie Manus and Cédric Patin. Berlin: ZAS. 

My Phd thesis:

Publications (Short List)


Area(s) of Interest

African Languages


Theoretical Linguistics

Language Documentation

Courses Presented

HLIN2614 Phonology, morphology and syntax

HLIN2644 A Linguistic Survey of the African Continent

LIND6824 Language Documentation

LINS6814 Syntax


Community Service

Service Learning


T: +27 51 401 2240 or humanities@ufs.ac.za

Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Katlego Mabulana: +27 51 401 2495
Juanita Hlongwane: +27 51 401 3269

Humanities photo next to contact block

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