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LINGUIST List 23.1445

Wed Mar 21 2012

Confs: Anthroling, Lang Documentation, Socioling/Cameroon

Editor for this issue: Amy Brunett <brunettlinguistlist.org>

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Date: 20-Mar-2012
From: Jeff Good <jcgoodbuffalo.edu>
Subject: Sociolinguistic Language Documentation in Africa
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Sociolinguistic Language Documentation in Africa

Date: 17-Aug-2012 - 19-Aug-2012
Location: Buea, Cameroon
Contact: Tucker Childs and Jeff Good
Contact Email: < click here to access email >
Meeting URL: http://buffalo.edu/~jcgood/AfricanSociolinguistics.html

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics; Language Documentation; Sociolinguistics

Meeting Description:

Workshop on Sociolinguistic Language Documentation in Sub-Saharan Africa to be held in conjunction with the 7th World Congress of African Linguistics

Language documentation is prototypically characterized as the collection of records of a language which can form the basis of traditional descriptive linguistic products such as lexicons, grammars, and texts. This follows from an emphasis by linguists and speaker communities on documentation of specific varieties and genres taken to be especially representative of a given community's heritage. By contrast, relatively little attention has been paid to understanding what kinds of documentary products are required to adequately capture the sociolinguistic setting of a language. This represents a particularly complex issue in the highly multilingual contexts that typically characterize Sub-Saharan Africa.

The guiding concern of this workshop is understanding how we can adequately document the sociolinguistic contexts of Sub-Saharan African languages. It will address questions such as the following: Are particular discourse genres especially revealing of sociolinguistic dynamics? How can multilingual competence be rigorously assessed? Can we establish general methods to discover salient markers of sociolinguistic significance? What additional kinds of metadata are needed to facilitate the testing of sociolinguistic hypotheses on documentary data?

The workshop is designed to produce new research collaborations among scholars of African languages. Significant time will be devoted to working groups where participants will divide into sub-groups to discuss specific issues related to the sociolinguistic documentation of Sub-Saharan African languages and draft reports proposing future documentary agendas. We especially encourage the participation of junior scholars, including advanced students.

This workshop is being held in conjunction with the Seventh World Congress of African Linguistics. It is being organized by Tucker Childs (childstpdx.edu) and Jeff Good (jcgoodbuffalo.edu). The organizers anticipate being able to make significant contributions to the travel costs for around five U.S. participants and ten African participants with financial support from the U.S. National Science Foundation. Scholars from other countries are also strongly encouraged to participate, as are scholars with access to other travel funds.

General questions about the workshop should be directed to the workshop email address: africansociolinguisticsgmail.com.

Those interested in participating in the workshop should prepare a one-page statement of interest including the following information:

- Name of participant, academic affiliation, and research qualifications and background
- Reason for interest in the proposed workshop, including some indication of the specific issues of sociolinguistic language documentation that it is hoped the workshop will address
- Whether they are requesting funding for travel to the workshop; if so, a separate page should be included with their interest statement giving an estimate of travel expenses and an indication of what other sources of funding (if any) may be available to support their participation
- Junior applicants (especially students) should also provide the name and contact details (email and telephone number) of at least two referees to vouch for their application.

Applicants should bear in mind that the workshop is specifically intended to foster new research collaborations. Therefore, statements of interest should not consist merely of project reports but rather give clear reasons for participation in workshop discussions. They should address, for example, questions like: What are the key research issues in African sociolinguistics today? What kinds of collaborative research projects can address those issues? Or, how can new collaborative efforts be encouraged?

One page statements of interest (accompanied by an additional page containing budgetary information and a reference, if relevant) must be submitted by 20 April 2012. They should be submitted via LINGUIST List's Easy Abs service at the following address:


More information can be found on the workshop website:


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