6th World Congress of African Linguistics - WOCAL6
“African Linguistics for Understanding and Progress”
August 17th -21st 2009
First Circular – May 2007
Following a decision by the Standing Committee for the World Congress of African Linguistics (WOCAL), WOCAL 6 is scheduled to
take place between the August 17th and the 21st 2009 at the University of Cologne, Germany.
The congress will be organized as a mixed sequence of plenary sessions allowing for keynote addresses from invited speakers,
as well as thematic parallel sessions for presentations of papers. The following sessions are envisaged: Language Contact,
Morpho-Syntax, Language Documentation, Phonetics and Phonology, Typology, Semantics, Sociolinguistics, Language Technology,
Language and Development. An Academic Congress Committee (see further below) will help to organize and evaluate the papers,
also with regard to the publication in the congress proceedings. Round table discussions as well as workshops can be set up
A Symposium on African Sign Languages will be held within WOCAL6 from August 17th to 19th 2009, organized by Dany Adone,
Claudia Becker and Thomas Kaul.
The WOCAL6 congress language is English. Papers can be presented in any other language, however, abstracts of all papers must
be submitted in English.The languages of the Symposium on African Sign Languages are English and International Sign Language.
Simultaneous translation of all presentations on African Sign Languages into International Sign Language or English will be
Details concerning the submission of manuscripts and publication will be announced at a later date.
Symposium on African Sign Languages
The first Symposium on African Sign Languages (SAfSL) will be held within WOCAL6 from August 17th to 19th 2009 and provides a
forum for the otherwise widely neglected Sign Language of Deaf Communities on the African Continent. The symposium will be
hosted by Dany Adone, Claudia Becker and Thomas Kaul from the University of Cologne. Contributions to the symposium are invited
on the following topics:
• linguistic research on African Sign Languages,
• reports on undocumented or under-documented African Sign Languages,
• reports on endangered African Sign Languages,
• reports on emerging African Sign Languages,
• education and African Sign Languages, and
• language policies and African Sign languages.
The WOCAL conference language is English, the symposium languages, however, are English and International Sign language. All
presentations on African Sign Languages will be translated into International Sign Language. Details on the submissions for
presentations will be circulated along with the call-for-papers in 2008.
Information to facilitate your preparations for attending the Congress
Registration & submission of papers
Registration forms and call-for-papers, as well as money transfer details for your registration fees (Congress account details)
will be circulated in June 2008. Registration fees have been set at 80,- Euro (100,- Euro after January 1st 2009) for congress
The conference will be held on the premises of the University of Cologne, which is located within the city of Cologne. The
Central Train Station of Cologne (Hauptbahnhof Koeln) is well connected by trains to the following international airports:
Airport Koeln-Bonn (about 20 km), Airport Frankfurt (about 200 km) and Airport Duesseldorf (about 60 km).
Accommodation & Meals
Details on accommodations and meals will be given in the second circular.
Financial Support for Participants from outside Europe
Provided that funds can be raised, financial support for attending the congress will be granted to participants from outside
Europe, particularly from Africa. Those who need support are urged to send in their detailed request together with an abstract
of their presentation. Beneficiaries will be identified based on this information and will be notified.
An invitation letter to facilitate your preparations for the Congress will be send after submitting an abstract. Note that
sending you this letter does not mean that you will get financial support from us. It should, however, help you apply for a
German visa or financial support from your university or other institutions.
All Congress participants are urged to be in possession of a valid health insurance. The organizers will not be in a position
to accept any responsibilities for medical care nor any other health costs which individual participants may incur.
Special WOCAL 6
A special session of the World Congress of African Linguistics (WOCAL) will be hosted by the Department of Linguistics of the
University of São Paulo, Brazil, and will be held between August 11th and 15th 2008. The deadline for abstracts is October
30th 2007. Congress Chair of this Special WOCAL6 is Margarida Maria Taddoni Petter. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Information on WOCAL6
WOCAL6email@example.com provides up-date information on WOCAL6. Please, send us your mail address in order to be added
to this newsletter. http://www.uni-koeln.de/phil-fak/afrikanistik/wocal/ shows up-date information on WOCAL6.
http://www.wocal.rutgers.edu/ will also include the up-date information on WOCAL6.
Correspondence should be directed to
c/o Matthias Brenzinger
Institut fuer Afrikanistik
University of Cologne
Organisational Structure of WOCAL6
Congress Chairperson: Matthias Brenzinger
Congress Organizing Committee:
Academic Congress Committee:
Gerrit Dimmendaal: Language Contact)
Roland Kiessling: Morpho-Syntax
Tucker Childs: Language Documentation
Ian Maddieson: Phonetics and Phonology
Bernd Heine: Typology
Felix Ameka: Semantics
Ekkehard Wolff: Soziolinguistics
Arvi Hurskainen: Language Technology
James G. Bennett: Language and Development
Symposium of African Sign Languages Committee:
Ways and Means Committee
Registration and Finances
Meals – Coffee
WOCAL Standing Committee:
Herman Batibo: WOCAL President (Botswana)
Matthias Brenzinger: WOCAL Secretary General (Germany)
Raphael Kaboré (France)
Ayo Bamgbose (Nigeria)
Maarten Mous (The Netherlands)
Zelealem Leyew (Ethiopia)
Ekkehard Wolff (Germany)
Josephat Rugemalira (Tanzania)
Al Mtenje (Malawi)
Margarida Maria Taddoni Petter (Brasil)
Akinbiyi Akinlabi (USA)
† Kezie Lébikaza (Togo)
Co-opted members of the WOCAL Standing Committee:
Karsten Legère (Sweden)
Neville Alexander (South Africa)
Adama Samassekou (Mali)