Communities in Control

Learning tools and strategies for multilingual endangered language communities

Mercator-SOAS-CIDLeS & FEL Conference

Date and venue

October 19th-21st, 2017 | Hotel Eurosol Alcanena (Portugal)

About the conference

The Mercator Research Centre, SOAS World Languages Institute, the Interdisciplinary Centre for Social and Language Documentation and the Foundation for Endangered Languages cordially invite scholars, community organisations and community members working on the revitalization of endangered languages, its documentation and archiving to join the International Conference on “Communities in Control” that will take place in Alcanena, Portugal, on October 19-21 2017.

This conference is organised together with the Foundation of Endangered Languages as FEL XXI, the 21st issue of a series of yearly conferences for which printed proceedings will be published.

During the last two decades many regional minority and endangered languages have been documented, a process which has led to the creation of different archived collections. This has been, however, mostly, a scholar-driven effort and the concerned language communities have, themselves, not been involved in it and have not identified with the documentation projects. Most of the data thus produced, especially archived material, has, consequently, been too little used by communities for their own initiatives.

This situation requires an urgent shift in the research model and archive interfaces. It is extremely important to work directly and in collaboration with the speech communities but crucially, also, to empower these communities and provide them with the ability to participate with their own expertise in the definition and implementation of research agendas and projects, thus making it possible for their needs and interests to determine that implementation. 

Whilst it is understandable that language documentation should follow the initiatives of scholars as well as communities, revitalisation, for its part, if it is to be successful, needs to be entirely community-driven. Revitalisation should be a bottom-up process, motivated, desired and designed by the community; it must be integrated into its everyday life and inseparable from it.

Call for abstracts

In this context, this 3-day event aims to focus on community-driven activities. Abstracts are invited for papers on the following subtopics:

  • Community-driven revitalization projects
  • Use of archives for language safeguarding, revitalization and teaching
  • Connecting communities to archived collections: content, interface, language
  • Development of linguistic tourism: connecting language revitalization to local economic development as a way of increasing the status of local languages

The abstracts should be in English, no longer than 500 words, must include 3 to 5 keywords and be sent as Word or PDF to info@cidles.eu and n@ostler.net by July 15th, 2017. In the body of the email, but separate from the abstract, please include the following information:

author(s), institution(s), phone number(s) e-mail(s).

Each presentation will be assigned 30 minutes: we recommend allowing 5 to 10 minutes of this time for questions and discussion.

Accepted authors are expected to submit a paper for the Proceedings in advance of the conference.

Registration will open on June 12th, 2017. More details on registration fees will follow.

Plenary speakers

to be announced...

Scientific committee

Vera Ferreira (CIDLeS)
Cor van der Meer (Mercator)
Mandana Seyfeddinipur (SOAS University of London)
Nicholas Ostler (FEL)
Tjeerd de Graaf (Groningen University)
Chris Moseley (FEL)
Salem Mezhoud (FEL)

Organizing committee

Vera Ferreira (CIDLeS)
Cor van der Meer (Mercator)
Mandana Seyfeddinipur (SOAS University of London)
Nicholas Ostler (FEL)
Steven Krauwer (CLARIN)

Important dates

Deadline for abstract submission: July 15th, 2017
Registration start date: June 30th, 2017
Notification of acceptance: August 1st, 2017
Deadline for submission of papers (draft): September 15th, 2017
Event dates: October 19th-21st, 2017

For more information, please contact info@cidles.eu.