Call for papers: Language Documentation

Conference on Language Documentation and Linguistic Theory: 75 years of Linguistics at SOAS, 5 years of the Endangered Languages Project

7-8th December 2007
School of Oriental and African Studies, London

In 2007 the Department of Linguistics at School of Oriental and African Studies celebrates its 75th anniversary. Founded in 1932 as the first department of general linguistics in Britain, the research carried out by linguistics within the department has made a significant and lasting impact on the fields of language documentation and description and linguistic theory.

This conference commemorates both the 75 year tradition of linguistics within the School and the 5th anniversary of the Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project, comprising the Endangered Languages Academic Programme (ELAP), the Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR), and the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme (ELDP).

The conference aims to bring together researchers working on linguistic theory and language documentation and description, with a particular focus on innovative work on underdescribed or endangered languages, especially those of Asia and Africa. Our goal is to provide a forum to discuss the ways that linguists and others, especially community members, can respond to the current challenges to linguistic diversity and build on experiences of the past.

1. implications of language documentation and description for linguistic theory
2. implications of linguistic theory for language documentation and description
3. experiences of language documentation and description and linguistic theory at SOAS
4. new techniques and opportunities for documenting and describing languages
5. community-oriented outcomes of endangered languages research

Abstracts are invited for 20-minute talks (plus 10 minutes of discussion) on any of the themes identified above. Submissions are limited to one individual and one joint abstract per author.

Abstracts should take the form of a PDF document, submitted by email and limited to one page (using 2.5cm margins on all sides and 12pt Times font) including references, and a further one page of examples and data. Any non-standard fonts should be embedded in the PDF document. Authors should submit two versions of their abstract, one with their name and affiliation included and a second without these details.

Abstract submissions should be sent electronically to The deadline for abstract submissions is 17th August 2007. Acceptance will be notified by 30th August 2007 and a PDF comprising a 5-10 page outline of the paper to be presented (including examples and references) will be due on 19th November 2007. We will print all the outlines of accepted papers in a book that will be given to registrants at the conference.

Important dates:

Deadline for abstract submission: 17th August 2007
Notification of acceptance: 30th August 2007
‘Early bird’ registration deadline: 8th October 2007
Deadline for submission of 5-10 page outlines/Final registration deadline: 19th November 2007
Conference: 7-8th December 2007

Conference fees:

Early bird registration (by 8th October 2007)
– full £ 45
– student/unwaged £ 25

Registration (19th November 2007)
– full £ 60
– student/unwaged £ 35

Registration includes conference pack (including a book of paper outlines), morning/afternoon teas.

Conference dinner 7th December 2007 £ 25

Further details and conference registration forms will be available in August at

All other enquiries should be directed to Jacqui Freeman:

Prof Peter K. Austin
Marit Rausing Chair in Field Linguistics
Director, Endangered Languages Academic Program
Department of Linguistics, SOAS
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG
United Kingdom