LINGUIST List 22.716

Fri Feb 11 2011

Calls: Austronesian, Lang Documentation, General Ling/Australia

Editor for this issue: Amy Brunett <>

        1.     Alex Francois , 1st International Workshop on the Languages of Vanuatu

Message 1: 1st International Workshop on the Languages of Vanuatu
Date: 08-Feb-2011
From: Alex Francois <>
Subject: 1st International Workshop on the Languages of Vanuatu
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Full Title: 1st International Workshop on the Languages of Vanuatu
Date: 21-Oct-2011 - 23-Oct-2011 Location: Kioloa, Australia Contact Person: Alex Francois
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics; Language Documentation

Language Family(ies): Austronesian

Call Deadline: 15-Mar-2011

Meeting Description:

The department of Linguistics at the Australian National University (School of Culture, History and Language) will convene a workshop of linguists working on the languages of Vanuatu, on 21-23 October 2011, in the Kioloa campus of ANU.

Our guest speaker will be Prof John Lynch, from the University of the South Pacific.


With about 106 vernacular languages for 234,000 inhabitants, the Republic of Vanuatu hosts the world's highest linguistic density per capita (Crowley 2000). While all these languages belong to the Oceanic branch of the Austronesian family, they have gone through three millennia of in situ diversification. The result today is a mosaic of languages showing both a strong unity in parts of their systems, and a rather impressive diversity in many other respects. Finally, the modern era has also seen the emergence of the pidgin/creole Bislama, today the national language of Vanuatu, with an identity of its own. Since the lexical surveys by Tryon (1976), the last three decades have seen a steady increase in the number and quality of studies dedicated to the languages of the Vanuatu archipelago. This growing interest justifies a meeting focusing on Vanuatu languages, with the hope to strengthen the ties between scholars of various horizons and generations.


The venue will be the ANU campus of Kioloa, located on the NSW coast. The campus enables accommodation for about 20-25 people. The plan is to get to Kioloa on the Friday (21 Oct) noon, and leave on the Sunday afternoon, so as to get back to Canberra in the evening. Depending on the number of participants, we hope to have a flexible schedule, with time for papers and discussions, as well as relaxing moments.

Tankyu tumas —Alex François (alexandre.francoisANU.

Call for Papers:

Prospective participants are invited to propose papers of 30 minutes in length, related to any aspect of the languages spoken in Vanuatu. Though Vanuatu is the main focus, paper proposals dealing with languages of the Solomon Islands or New Caledonia will also be considered, within the practical limits of available accommodation.

Topics may include any of the following:

- Synchronic description of the phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics or pragmatics of particular Vanuatu languages- Issues in grammar writing or dictionary writing- Methodology of fieldwork- Aspects of language documentation- Historical reconstruction, comparative linguistics- Language contact; social aspects of language use- Areal features shared by several languages of the archipelago- Issues related to Bislama, whether in itself or in its relationship with vernacular languages- Issues of language endangerment and maintenance, vernacular education and language policy- Diffusion of our knowledge about Vanuatu languages, both to communities and to the broader public- Verbal art and oral literature

People thinking of taking part in the workshop should write to the organisers ( as early as possible, stating their interest. This will help us estimate the number of participants, and therefore proceed to appropriate bookings for accommodation. Please indicate if you are thinking of bringing any guests, and how many. When possible, a tentative topic for a talk would be useful.

Prospective participants will later be invited to send a final title, and short abstract (max 150 words), before March 15th.

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