LINGUIST List 31.479

Mon Feb 03 2020

Confs: Gen Ling, Lang Document, Socioling, Typology, Writing Systems/Portugal

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 31-Jan-2020
From: Chiara Truppi <>
Subject: Language policy in post-colonial Africa
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Language policy in post-colonial Africa

Date: 02-Jul-2020 - 04-Jul-2020
Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Contact: Raïssa Gillier Chiara Truppi
Contact Email: < click here to access email >
Meeting URL:

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics; Language Documentation; Sociolinguistics; Typology; Writing Systems

Meeting Description:

Language policy in post-colonial Africa: Language identity and orthography in creoles and pidgins

The panel aims to discuss postcolonial language policies in Africa, regarding creoles and pidgins, which are, in most cases, non-official languages. We will focus on the relation between orthography and language identity.
The panel addresses the issue of language policy in postcolonial Africa, with particular attention to creole and pidgin languages, which represent an important heritage of the colonial period. Most of them are not official languages; moreover, they are in many cases the language of stigmatized communities. Postcolonial language policies have often given continuity to colonial linguistic choices. Consequently, most African countries chose the language of the ex-colonizers as official language, in some cases along with one or more national languages (Nassum 1994). In the last decades, the emergence of a Language Policy and Planning research field brought to light a large set of issues, notably the ones related to the elaboration and standardization of an orthography. Nevertheless, designing and implementing an (effective) orthography is a complex process that always implies taking into account different aspects in the areas of linguistics (choice of the alphabet, phonological representation, word boundaries, etc.), sociolinguistics (different varieties, language attitude, etc.), politics (government policies), and education (words recognition, readability/fluency, etc.). Furthermore, all these topics are under the factor of acceptability by the community that will actually use the written language (Cahill & Karan 2008). Orthographies, either official or spontaneous (private communication, SMS, Facebook, etc.), always reflect aspects related to language identity and speakers’ attitudes (Edwards 2009; Gillier 2019; Truppi & Hans-Bianchi 2019). To discuss this complex subject, we welcome submissions regarding any topics related to language policy, identity, multilingualism, and literacy concerning any African creole and pidgin languages.

Call for Papers:

Proposals for this panel will be accepted through February 24, 2020. Acceptance will be communicated by March 9.

- Abstracts are accepted in the following languages: Portuguese, Castilian, English or French. Papers can be presented in one of these four languages; however, simultaneous translation will not be available.

- Each participant may submit only one paper abstract proposals. In alternative to one paper submission, each participant can submit two co-authored papers. The paper proposals may be presented to the panel that the author is the convenor (where applicable) or submitted to any other panel. The registration of all the authors is mandatory.

- Abstracts papers, should not exceed 300 words, with the first 50 words for a short abstract and the remaining 250 words for a long abstract.

Candidates should upload their proposals through the website of the main conference (

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