2nd Call for papers

(including call for submissions to workshops)

African languages for sustainable societies and knowledge creation

Language plays a vital role in our societies that are more and more shaped by communication and information, and Africa is no exception. As languages provide the framework for interpreting the world, African languages can contribute tremendously to our understanding of how people communicate and how language structures this interaction. Only by using African languages in all spheres of social life in African societies does communication become inclusive and information truly accessible to all and lead to reducing inequality and establishing sustainable societies. African linguistics has a key role to play in helping to bring this about.

We invite contributions on all African languages including sign languages; synchronic and diachronic studies, literatures in African languages; all subdisciplines of linguistics: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, psycholinguistics, language planning and policy, language documentation; and applied and educational linguistics.

Program organisation

We envisage 5 plenary speakers, followed by pitches for posters, and 8-10 parallel sessions. Presentations will be 20 minutes long followed by 5 minutes discussion and 5 minutes for changing rooms. Poster sessions will take place during lunch and coffee/tea breaks. We select abstracts to accommodate maximally 400 papers.

The papers for the General Sessions will be organised as much as possible in logical sessions so as to make all fields of African linguistics visible.


The following workshops have been proposed and will take place during WOCAL10:

TitleEasyChair code
Centering pragmatic phenomena on the margins in African languagesPRAG
Decomposing tones in African languagesTONE
Metaphor in youth languageYOUT
The causal-noncausal alternation in African languagesCAUS
The impact of non-Bantu languages on Bantu language variationCONT
African Sign LanguagesSILA
Associated motion in African languagesASMO
Let’s turn to policyPOLI
Bantu universals and variationBANT

The full descriptions of the workshops can be found at http://2021.wocal.net/workshops/. Researchers who wish to participate in any of these workshops should submit their abstracts through the WOCAL 10 EasyChair link and they should indicate the workshop code in the “keywords” field.  Researchers are encouraged to contact the organisers of the workshops should they have any questions and for further information.

We are looking into options for on-line streaming and on-line presentations for those who cannot be physically present.

Conference time/dates

Conference: June 8, 9, 10, 11 2021
Arrival and registration: June 7
After WOCAL social events: June 12

Submission deadlines

Workshop proposal: Due July 30th, 2020
Abstract: Due November 30th, 2020
Notification of acceptance: January 31st, 2021


Conference fees (early bird before 1st March 2021).

General160 EUR(early bird 140)
(PhD) Students80 EUR(early bird 70)
Participants from economically challenged countries80 EUR(early bird 70)

Details for payment will be announced soon on the conference website.

Congress Language

The Leiden WOCAL10 congress languages are English and French. We will try to arrange interpreters for presentations in International Sign to English and vice-versa.

Abstract submission guidelines

All abstracts should be submitted via EasyChair https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=wocal10
Individuals can choose to propose abstracts for contributions in one of the following categories:

  • Oral/signed paper presentation
  • Poster presentations (authors of posters selected will give 2-minute pitches about their posters at plenary sessions before poster viewing).

Please indicate your preference for paper or poster in the keywords field of your abstract submission. Papers proposed for workshops should also indicate the code for the workshop in the “keywords” field, e.g. TONE.

Written abstracts should be a maximum of 300 words. Abstracts may also be submitted in International sign language in a video no longer than 5 minutes; see http://2021.wocal.net/african-sign-languages-workshop/ for further instructions.

Due to heavy competition for slots in the WOCAL10 programme no one individual can be considered for more than one contribution for which they are a first (or sole) author.


Faculty of Humanities, Lipsius Building, Leiden University

Local organising and scientific committee

to be contacted at call@hum.leidenuniv.nl
(in alphabetical order, affiliation is Leiden University, unless other affiliation is mentioned. The Leiden University members are affiliated to the research units of Leiden University Centre for Linguistics (LUCL), Leiden University Centre for the Arts and Society (LUCAS), and the African Studies Centre Leiden (ASCL).

Enoch Aboh, University of Amsterdam
Felix Ameka
Azeb Amha
Mark Dingemanse, Radboud University Nijmegen
Manolis Fragkiadakis
Richard Griscom
Timothy Hadjah
Andrew Harvey
Elisabeth Kerr
Maarten Kossmann
Zhen Li
Hope Morgan
Marta Morgado
Maarten Mous (chair)
Victoria Nyst
Sara Petrollino
Bert van Pinxteren
Saskia van Putten, Radboud University Nijmegen
Annachiara Raia
Christian Rapold
Thilo Schadeberg
Heleen Smits
Ahmed Sosal
Mariana Sousa da Silva Martins
Lisa van der Mark
César Valenzuela Léon
Jenneke van der Wal