School of Arts

Heike Tappe

Heike Tappe

Associate Professor


Contact Number031-260-1131

CampusHoward College Campus

Office AddressMTB F146

Degrees Held

  • PhD in Linguistics graduated 97-06 (University of Hamburg)
  • Master of Arts in English Language, Literature, and Culture (University of Hamburg)


  • Sibisi, M. & Tappe, H. Event verbalization in isiZulu L1 and English L2: A comparative analysis with special reference to tense and aspect. (Submitted for publication).
  • Tappe, H. What about African story grammar? (Submitted for publication).
  • Tappe, H. & A. Hara. Language specific narrative text structure elements in multilingual children. Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics, 42, 297-331.
  • Tappe, H. Morphological code-mixing: The case of Zulu agreement in English. In Holden Haertl (ed.). Interfaces of morphology. (Studia Grammatica). (263-287). Berlin: Akademie Verlag.
  • Tappe, H. My ways to Rome: Routes to multilingualism. In E. Todeva and J. Cenoz (eds.) The multiple realities of Multilingualism: Personal narratives and researchers’ perspectives. (75-92). Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Klippel, A., H. Tappe, L. Kulik, P. U. Lee. Wayfinding Choremes – A language for modelling conceptual route knowledge. Journal of Visual Languages and Computing, 311–329.
  • López A., H. Tappe & C. Habel, The taxonomic representation of common events: A research report. In Psykhe: Revista de la Escuela de Psicologia. Vol. 13/ 1, 191-197.
  • Härtl, H. & H. Tappe (eds.). Mediating between concepts and grammar (Trends in Linguistics 152). Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Klippel, A., H. Tappe & C. Habel, Pictorial representations of routes: Chunking route segments during comprehension. In: F. Freksa, W. Brauer, C. Habel & K.F. Wender (eds.), Spatial Cognition III. (pp. 11-33). Heidelberg & Berlin: Springer Verlag.
  • Lee P.U., A. Klippel & H. Tappe, The effect of motion in graphical user interfaces. Proceedings of the 3rd International Symposium on Smart Graphics. Heidelberg & Berlin: Springer Verlag.
  • Tappe, H., Thesen zur Hochschuldidaktik [Theses on didactics at the University]. Unpublished Ms. Humboldt University Berlin.
  • Tappe, H. & H. Härtl, Mediating between concepts and grammar–Processing structures. In: Härtl, H. & H. Tappe (Eds.), Mediating between Concepts and Grammar. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Tappe, H., H. Härtl & S. Olsen, Thematic information, argument structure, and discourse adaptation in language production. In T. Pechmann (ed.), Multidisciplinary Approaches to Language Production. (139-170). Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Klippel, A. & H. Tappe, Pieces of information. Combining route elements to sensible chunks. In: E. van der Meer, R. Beyer, F. Krüger, A. Nuthmann & S. Schulz (eds.), Proceedings of the 43. Conference of the DGP (German Society of Psychology). Berlin: Pabst.
  • Lee, P., H. Tappe & A. Klippel, Acquisition of landmark knowledge from static and dynamic presentation of route maps. In: W. Gray & C. Schunn (Eds.). Proceedings of the twenty-fourth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. (p. 1017). Fairfax, Virginia.
  • Lee, P., H. Tappe & A. Klippel, Acquisition of landmark knowledge from static and dynamic presentation of route maps. Künstliche Intelligenz-Themenheft: Spatial Cognition, 32-35.
  • Klippel, A. & H. Tappe, Conceptual spatial representations in language and graphics. Proceedings 5th  Conference of the German Cognitive Science Society: 25.–28. September 2001, Leipzig: Leipziger Universitätsverlag.
  • Tappe, H., A. Klippel & C. Habel, On abstract spatial representations underlying language and sketch-map production. Proceedings of the Eighth European Workshop on Imagery and Cognition. EWIC 2001, Palais du Grand Large, Saint-Malo, France.
  • Guhe, M., C. Habel & H. Tappe, Incremental event conceptualization and natural language generation in monitoring environments. (85-92). Proceedings of First International Conference on Natural Language Generation – INLG 2000. Mitzpe Ramon, Israel.
  • Tappe, H., Perspektivenwahl in Beschreibungen dynamischer und statischer Wegeskizzen. [Choice of perspective in descriptions of dynamic and static sketch-maps] In: C. Habel & C. v. Stutterheim (Hrsg.): Räumliche Konzepte und sprachliche Strukturen. (pp. 69-97). Tübingen: Niemeyer.
  • Tappe, H. & A. Klippel, Conceptualization of Spatial Structures: A Cooperative Study. Project-sketch of a cooperative study between the projects “Conceptualization in Language Production” and “Aspect Maps”, University of Hamburg, Documentation.
  • Habel, C. & H. Tappe, Processes of segmentation and linearization in describing events. In: R. Klabunde & C. v.
  • Stutterheim  (Hrsg.),  Representations  and  Processes  in  Language  Production.  (pp.  117-153).  Wiesbaden:  Deutscher Universitätsverlag.
  • Tappe, H., Der Spracherwerb bei Corpus-Callosum-Agenesie: Eine explorative Studie. [Language acquisition in corpus callosum agenesis]. Tübingen: Narr.
  • Tappe, H., Schichten konzeptueller Repräsentation: Integration und Separierung. [Layers of conceptual representation: Integration and separation] In: I. Wachsmuth & B. Jung (Hrsg.), KogWis99: Proceedings der 4. Fachtagung der Gesellschaft für Kognitionswissenschaft. (pp. 104-110). St. Augustin: Infix.
  • Tappe, H. & C. Habel, Verbalization of dynamic sketch maps: Layers of representation in the conceptualization of drawing events. Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Conference; Madison WI, August, 1.–4., 1998.
  • Tappe, H. & F. Schilder, Coherence in spoken discourse. In: Proceedings the 17th International Conference on Computational Linguistics (COLING ’98) and of the 36th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL ’98). (pp. 1294-1298). Montréal, Québec, Canada: Université de Montréal.
  • Jekat, S, H. Tappe, H. Gerlach & T. Schöllhammer, Dialogue Interpreting: Data and Analysis. Verbmobil-Report 189, Universität Hamburg.
  • Tappe, H.M.E., Language acquisition and agenesis of the corpus callosum (ACC). In: A. Sorace, C. Heycock & R. Shillcock (eds.), Language Acquisition: Knowledge Representation and Processing. Proceedings of GALA ’97. (pp. 497-501). Edinburgh: Human Communication Research Centre.
  • Tappe, H.M.E., Nouns and verbs in language acquisition. In M.G. Shafto & P. Langley (eds.), Proceedings of the Nineteenth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Egner, St., L.K. Nagy & H. Tappe, 2nd International Summer School in Cognitive Science (CogSci 95), Sofia, Bulgarien. Künstliche Intelligenz 6, 73-74.
  • Tappe, H., Der frühe Spracherwerb bei Corpus callosum Agenesie: Hypothesen über Erwerbsprobleme im Bereich der Nomina. [Early language acquisition in corpus callosum agenesis: Hypotheses on acquisitional problems for nouns]. In: M. Knauff & A. Heinecke (Hrsg.), Frühjahrsworkshop der Graduiertenkollegs Kognitionswissenschaft Freiburg- Hamburg-Saarbrücken 12.-14. Mai 1995. GK-Kognitionswissenschaft Saarbrücken: Bericht Nr. 5, 27-29.

Awards Held

  • 2016  NRF – Knowledge, Interchange, Cooperation (KIC) – Travel Grant (visiting researcher at Mzuzu University, Malawi)          
  • 2015–2017 NRF – Competitive Support for Unrated Researchers Grant
  • 2014  Annual Conference of African Linguistics (ACAL45) – ACAL Travel Award 2008  UKZN – Distinguished Teachers’ Award  
  • 2000 DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) – Travel Grant (visiting researcher at the University of California, Santa Barbara)
  • 1997 German Science Foundation – Doctoral Program in Cognitive Science (Hamburg) – Postdoctoral Scholarship
  • 1993–1996 German Science Foundation – Doctoral Program in Cognitive Science (Hamburg) – Doctoral Scholarship


  • Dr Langa Khumalo (prestigious Mellon postdoctoral scholarship): Morphology in Bantu Languages.
  • Dr Stephanie Rudwick (prestigious postdoctoral scholarship, UKZN): The sociology and the lexicon of  an IsiZulu register: IsiHlonipho [the language of respect]
  • Mr. Prosper Takavarasha (PhD): Of patriots and traitors: A corpus-based discourse analysis of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s Epideictic Rhetoric (1980-2013).
  • Mrs. Bulelwa Nyangiwe (PhD): A comparative analysis of speech acts in IsiZulu and English
  • Mr. Amini Jean de Dieu Ngabonziza (PhD): Indigenous languages as languages of teaching and learning in Rwandan schools
  • Mr. Philothe Kabasele (PhD): Morphological transfer in trilingual (Lingala, French, English) speakers.
  • Mrs Agness Hara (PhD): Text comprehension in multilingual children.
  • Ms Kerry Jones (PhD): Language attitudes and inter-generational language transfer in !Xun and Khedam communities in Platfontein (RSA)
  • Mrs Magda Altman-Hartzell (PhD): Traditional views on embodiment: A cognitive semantic analysis of terminology in indigenous medical systems.
  • Mr Sandiso Ngcobo (PhD). Foundation in commerce students’ perceptions on the multilingual instruction policies at Mangosuthu University of Technology.
  • Mrs Carmen Kendall (Masters): Narrative text structure elements in bilingual (isiZulu-English) children.
  • Ms. Mandisa Ndlovu (Masters): Language specific features in isiZulu children’s tellings
  • Mrs. Entisar Aljoundi (Masters): Idea generation and planning time in second language writing: An empirical investigation
  • Ms Muhle Sibisi (Masters). Tense and aspect in bilingual (Zulu-English) speakers.
  • Mr Njabulo Mpungse (Masters): Spatial language and spatial cognition in bilingual (Zulu-English) speakers.
  • Ms Rosanne O’Hara (Masters): Language proficiency and reasoning: Solving the Latin Square Task in IsiZulu and English.
  • Mr Stephen Kithinji Kindiki (Masters): Attitude markers in Kîîtharaka: A systematic account of their usage, semantic meanings and pragmatic functions.
  • Ms Donna Thompson (Masters): The development of text comprehension skills in bilingual children.
  • Ms Maxine Willox (Masters): Language policy implementation in South Africa as marketing strategy.
  • Ms Man Xu (Masters): Semantic transparency and conceptual motivation in Chinese compounds.
  • Mr Chimwemwe Mayinde Mystic Kamanga (Masters): Meaning in “Neaming”: Processing the meaning of transposed morphological and syntactic order in word plays using the “reverse metaphor”.


  • Ms Julia Sutherland (Masters): Transferability and Mobility in Idioms.
  • Ms Estelle van der Merwe (Masters): Landmark flexibility in Afrikaans.
  • Ms Anna Groß (Masters). Language and Code-Switching between IsiZulu and English in South African Hip-Hop
  • Mrs Julie Raju (Masters). Standard versus Non-standard Varieties: IsiZulu and Umlazi Township Language.