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AfLaT 2013 - Report

The 2013 edition of the AfLaT workshop series took place on Friday 6 December 2013, at Ghent University. It was the fifth in the series, and conceived differently from previous editions, in that we wanted to broaden our activities by reaching out to all colleagues who have lexical resources for African languages, and are already working with those resources, but have not yet necessarily made the move to using advanced computational routines to speed up the analysis or the building of tools.

And so AfLaT 5 was conceived as a MasterClass, led by the founding members of AfLaT: Guy De Pauw (U Antwerp), Gilles-Maurice de Schryver (U Ghent), and Peter Wagacha (U Nairobi). Researchers were invited to present their current data sets and/or research during max. 20minutes, to be followed by a discussion and advice from those present for 10 min.

On the following pages, you will find some impressions of the workshop. The full book of abstracts can be found here.

Activating your corpus - Guy De Pauw


CALL FOR PAPERS FOR A WORKSHOP AT WOCAL8

WORKSHOP: Areal phenomena in northern sub-Saharan Africa

CONFERENCE: 8th World Congress of African Linguistics, Kyoto University,
August 21-24, 2015 (http://www.ura-sw.nansei.kyoto-u.ac.jp/WOCAL8/)
ORGANIZERS: Dmitry Idiatov (LLACAN-CNRS, Paris), Mark Van de Velde (LLACAN-CNRS, Paris)
CONTACT: idiatov [at] vjf [dot] cnrs [dot] fr

DESCRIPTION:
Languages spoken within a large belt of northern sub-Saharan Africa from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Ethiopian plateau in the east have long been known to share important structural similarities (cf. Westermann 1911, Greenberg 1959). The relevant linguistic features crisscross genetic borders and are not found in the genetically related languages outside of this region, which suggests an important role of language contact in the evolution of the currently observed pattern. The two recent areality hypotheses involving the languages of northern sub-Saharan Africa, Güldemann's (2008) Macro-Sudan belt and Clements & Rialland's (2008) Sudanic belt, focus on a number of structural features that have been proposed in the literature to be particularly representative of the languages spoken in the region, such as labial-velar stops, labial flaps, implosives and other "nonobstruent" stops, nasal vowels and lack of contrastive nasal consonants, ATR vowel harmony, tone, "lax" polar question markers, logophoricity markers, S-(Aux)-O-V-X and V-O-Neg order patterns.

The proposed workshop aims to expand our understanding of the areal phenomena in the languages of northern Sub-Saharan Africa. Submissions are expected to critically reassess the criteria already proposed in the literature or propose new criteria. Studies covering large parts of the region with languages of different genetic origins are particularly welcome. We also invite studies focusing on smaller zones within the bounds of the region which contribute to the big picture of language contact phenomena in the region. We would particularly encourage papers that not only provide a thorough synchronic description of a certain linguistic property whose distribution is argued to be areal, but that equally aim at working out plausible diachronic mechanisms which could account for the observed geographic and genetic distribution of such a linguistic property.

IMPORTANT DATES:

Deadline for abstract submission: October 31, 2014 Notification of acceptance: December 1, 2014

Following the general GUIDELINES established FOR THE SUBMISSION OF ABSTRACTS for WOCAL8, a submission should consist of two pages. The first page must contain the title of the paper, author's name, affiliation, postal address and email. The second page must be left anonymous, with only the title of the paper, 3 keywords, and the text of the abstract of no more than 500 words. Please use only Unicode compliant fonts.
Submissions should be sent as a Word file to idiatov [at] vjf [dot] cnrs [dot] fr.

Research Assistant in Linguistics @ SOAS

Research Assistant in Linguistics
Fixed term position until 31 December 2017
Department of Linguistics
SOAS, University of London
£33,476 - £34,411 p.a inclusive of London Allowance

Vacancy No: 000723

The Research Assistant in Linguistics will work within the Leverhulme-funded project on ‘Morphosyntactic variation in Bantu: Typology, contact and change’. The project explores how the structures of different Bantu languages have been shaped by the interaction of processes of historical innovation, language contact, and universal functions of human language. It employs qualitative and quantitative methods of language comparison and involves primary data collection through fieldwork. The project is directed by Professor Lutz Marten.

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