Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login

The LINGUIST List is dedicated to providing information on language and language analysis, and to providing the discipline of linguistics with the infrastructure necessary to function in the digital world. LINGUIST is a free resource, run by linguistics students and faculty, and supported by your donations. Please support LINGUIST List during the 2017 Fund Drive.

E-mail this page

Conference Information

Full Title: Challenges and New Prospects on Prosody in West Africa
Short Title: Humboldtkolleg Abidjan
Location: Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
Start Date: 05-May-2014 - 07-May-2014
Contact: Prof. Firmin Ahoua
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL:
Meeting Description: The focus of the Conference on prosody in West Africa is to contribute towards fulfilling a real need for linking disparate works, particularly in the field of areal typology and its impact on models in linguistics and technology.

West African languages show remarkable linguistic diversity, with approximately 13% of the roughly 6,000 languages in the world, noted in Gary et al (2013) Ethnologue as well as in Bendor-Samuel (1989), which are thus associated with three main separate language families: Afro-asiatic, Niger-Congo, and Nilo-Saharan. West African languages also contain extremely interesting and diverse patterns in their vowel systems. Most of the languages exhibit contrastive tone (some languages with up to seven tonal contrasts and problematic tonal polarity), nasality (with nasal spreading), tongue root distinctions and domain spreading, complex and still not completed definitions of prosodic categories and domains, issues of mismatches between syntactic, semantic and phonological domains, issues of constraints interactions.

The primary and urgent goal of the Conference is thus to provide a platform for discussion and exchange on documenting, describing and analyzing samples of prosodic systems.

Beside this general goal, a second goal of is to create an environment for providing feedback to African linguistics from linguistics in general, as well as from other scientific fields which have profited from results in African linguistics.

The third goal is to develop a strategy for making human and technological resources available in different research zones, and eventually to constitute research groups for funding applications. As a matter of fact, there has been isolated cooperative initiatives within Africa, particularly in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, which successfully acquired a certain degree of funding from European, North American and international agencies.

As a general framework, the aim of the Conference is to follow up the style of the TAPS conference on African prosody (, the Human Techonology Conference in Morocco (led by Prof Abdelhadi Soudi) as well as other meetings, and to continue the initial work on African COCOSDA (International Coordinating Committee on Speech Databases and Assessment).
Linguistic Subfield: Linguistic Theories; Phonology; Typology
Subject Language Family: Afroasiatic; Niger-Congo; Nilo-Saharan
LL Issue: 25.1447

Calls and Conferences main page