It was about one and a half years ago that I finally I arrived where I had always wanted to be and do what I had always wanted-- teach students, support small language communities and conduct research on African languages on my doorstep. The University of Cape Town and my new colleagues welcomed my efforts to establish the Centre for African Language Diversity-- CALDi as well as The African Language Archive-- TALA and I was recently appointed the Mellon Research Chair: African Language Diversity this initiative. The main aim of CALDi is to train young African scholars in descriptive linguistics and open up space for research into African languages at UCT with the hopes of countering the dominance of African linguistics outside the continent. It has been a great challenge for which my whole career has been a form of preparation...Read more
The goals of this workshop are to encourage the historical and comparative study of the Semitic languages and to disseminate the results of Semitic linguistics outside the small community of Semitists. Unlike regular conferences, the workshop allows for the presentation of long and complex studies and fosters debates between the participants. Comparative historical Semitic linguistics was once one of the cornerstones of historical linguistics, of ancient Near East studies, and of biblical studies. Since the heydays of Nöldeke, Wright, Barth, and Brockelmann, however, it has become less central to those fields of study. Through this workshop and similar workshops in the future, we hope to rekindle interest in the study of Semitic linguistics and its relevance to general and historical linguistics and its contribution to the philological study of the ancient world. For these reasons, too, most of the participants have been from a younger generation of scholars.