school and education




Department of Linguistics


Dr Victor Mugari
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Qualifications: PhD Linguistics and Applied Linguistics 2012 (BLCU; China), MPhil in Linguistics 2008 (UZ), BA Honours in Linguistics 2003 (UZ). Certificate of Competence in Mandarin 2009 (BLCU; China)


To be a vibrant and diverse centre of Language research, teaching and management.


To provide quality scientific understanding of language in both theory and practice, its psycho-socio-economic and political dynamics, including its interface with human and scientific development. We also strive to provide high quality tuition of communication and social skills to both undergraduate and postgraduate students across faculties and the nation backed through research.

Welcome to the Department of Linguistics of the University of Zimbabwe which was established in 1975. The Department is a vibrant centre of research and teaching, zeroing on language as a science and the fundamental role that it plays in psycho-socio-economic and political development of a people.The department offers two undergraduate degree programmes namely Honours in Linguistics (HLG) and Honours in Applied Linguistics (HAL), with options for dual programmes in Linguistics and either an African Language (Shona, Ndebele, Tonga and Kiswahili) or a Foreign Language (Chinese, German and Portuguese). We also offer three Masters programmes namely Masters in General Linguistics (MLG), Masters in Applied Linguistics (MAL) and Masters in Language for Specific Purposes (MLSP). With a team of experienced and determined mentors, we also have a rigorous DPhil programme whose enrollment we are working on expanding. The Department houses two units; Linguistics and Communication Skills.

The Linguistics unit is a hub of scholars specializing in language with cutting-edge theoretical and applied work in phonetics, phonology and morphology; syntax and semantics; pragmatics; sociolinguistics and language revitalization; language policy, management and planning, historical linguistics, forensic linguistics; typology; cognitive linguistics, speech disorder and recovery, discourse analysis and language and gender. The Department emphasizes research that seeks to discover and provide deep explanations for general properties of linguistic form, meaning, and usage. Several features combine to give the Department of Linguistics its unique character as a center of research and learning in linguistic theory. Members of the Department explore interdisciplinary connections between linguistic theory and other fields of inquiry, such as speech pathology, disability issues, philosophy, psychology, forensic applications and cognitive science.

The Communication Skills unit prides itself with imparting skills themed on written and oral communication to all students across all faculties and colleges of the university. The two courses offered are; Academic Communication skills, and Professional and Life Skills. The former revolves around the four basic macro-communication skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing which is designed as information packaging in academic contexts. The later addresses communication needs in work place contexts as well as the cultivation of all round patriotic law- abiding communicators with an awareness of the self and others, coupled with an appreciation of life and social skills. Scholarly work in the unit covers a wide range of areas in applied linguistics including text and discourse studies, rhetoric, second/ foreign language teaching and learning, forensic linguistics and business communication. Crucially, there is research and application of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the communication skills unit. ICT thrust does not only dovetail with the evolving university strategic plan but connects well with the envisaged national ‘stematisation’ drive as well, capacitating students with global trends and practices. Interface with the unit enhances communication with facility in both academic contexts and the world of business. Above all, we are the department that teaches every undergraduate who enrolls at the university!!!


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