Student nominated for Outstanding Undergraduate Dissertation Prize

BA English & American Literature and English Language and Linguistics student, Dakarai Bonyongwe, has been nominated for the prestigious Linguistics Association of Great Britain Undergraduate Dissertation Prize.

Since 2017, the Linguistics Association of Great Britain (LAGB) has awarded three prizes annually for outstanding dissertations or long-form essays in any subfield of linguistics written by undergraduates.

The Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics said: “The prize is extremely competitive with an extraordinarily high standard of entries, and we were very proud to submit Dakarai’s excellent dissertation. It reflected a year of hard work and dedication to produce an original piece of work on the phonology of a less-studied language. We are deeply impressed with the quality of Dakarai’s work, and think [she] selected an exciting and relevant topic and implemented it with an impressive level of scientific maturity.”

Dakarai says: “My research is inspired by a childhood frustration of mine. I grew up with non-Shona speakers mispronouncing the alveolar implosive /ɗ/ at the start of my name as the alveolar plosive /d/. Shona, my native language, is tonal and the phonemes can be contrastive.” She goes on to say: “this study had its challenges, but was deeply fascinating and satisfying. I would love to expand on it in future, allowing for a deeper analysis of results…I want to thank SECL and the University of Kent for creating the platform to enable independent research.”

Find out more about undergraduate programmes in Linguistics.