Saturday, April 19, 2014

June 10th to 12th, 2011
University of Maryland College Park

'African languages in context'

The 42nd Annual Conference on African Linguistics (ACAL42 or ACAL2011) was held on June 10-12, 2011 at the University of Maryland through the sponsorship of the University of Maryland Center for Advanced Study of Language (CASL), the Department of Linguistics, and the School of Languages Literatures and Cultures (SLLC). The theme of this year’s conference was ‘African Languages in Context.

The event opened with a warm welcome by Dr. Norma Allewell, University of Maryland Vice President of Research, and opening remarks by Dr. Gregory K. Iverson, speaking on behalf of CASL.

As the premier conference on African Linguistics in North America, this event brought together many leading experts in the field from the U.S. and abroad as well as many bright graduate students. In addition to over 100 presentations from the many subdisciplines of linguistics and representing languages from all over the continent, the two and half day event included four invited plenary presentations.

The first plenary presentation was by Dr. Samuel G. Obeng of Indiana University, who spoke on "Textuality, contextuality, and intertextuality in African political text and talk."Leading up to a reception hosted by the University of Maryland Center for Advanced Study of Language, Dr. David Odden of The Ohio State University gave a plenary presentation on “Aspects of Llogoori tone."Dr. Vicki Carstens of the University of Missouri opened the second day of the conference with a talk on “Left/right asymmetries and the design of grammar,"and Dr. Enoch O. Aboh of the University of Amsterdam closed that day’s proceedings with a presentation on “Lexical and functional categories in Gbe and beyond."Papers were also presented by two students in the University of Maryland Department of Linguistics, Dustin Chacón and Naho Orita, one professor from the Linguistics Department, Alexander Williams, and four CASL researchers, Christopher R. Green, Michael R. Marlo, Michelle Morrison, and Tristan M. Purvis.

A banquet was held on Saturday evening at the Holiday Inn, College Park. Those in attendance, a majority of the conference participants, were treated not only a delicious array of African cuisine and lively drumming performances by the Akoma drummers, but also spontaneous drumming, dancing, and other musical and vocal performances from among their fellow participants!

Presenter Gaontebale Noboda Enoch Aboh entertains banquet-goers with dance moves from Benin

Conference presenter Gaontebale Nodoba completes a powerful dance at the 42nd ACAL banquet

Photo courtesy of Samuel A. Atintono

Plenary speaker Enoch Aboh entertains banquet-goers with dance moves from Benin

Photo courtesy of Samuel A. Atintono

Obeng drumming Akin dancing
Plenary speaker Samuel Obeng drums along with the Akoma drummers

Photo courtesy of Samuel A. Atintono

ACAL Steering Committee chair, Akinbiyi Akinlabi, grooves to the beat of the Akoma dancers

Photo courtesy of Samuel A. Atintono

Akoma singing Greg Iverson dancing
Conference presenters, Clement K. I. Appah and Nada Gbegble, provide vocals for the Akoma drummers

Photo courtesy of Samuel A. Atintono

Greg Iverson of CASL is drawn to the banquet dance floor

Photo courtesy of Samuel A. Atintono

Organizing committee members C. Green and co
Members of the organizing committee at the banquet

Photo courtesy of Samuel A. Atintono

Organizing committee member, Chris Green, with fellow conference presenters, Laura McPherson & Abbie Hangtan

Photo courtesy of Bonny Sands

The conference was organized by Nikki Adams, Gregory K. Iverson, Michael R. Marlo, Christopher R. Green, Michelle Morrison, Linda Murphy-Marshall, Tristan M. Purvis, along with the dedicated support of CASL staff and numerous volunteers from campus.

Conference proceedings will be published through the Cascadilla Proceedings Project. Please contact 42ndacal@gmail.com or marlom@missouri.edu regarding these proceedings.

Invited Speakers

Professor Enoch Aboh

University of Amsterdam
Lexical and functional categories in Gbe and beyond

Professor Vicki Carstens

University of Missouri
Left/right asymmetries and the design of grammar

Professor Samuel Gyasi Obeng

Indiana University
Textuality, contextuality, and intertextuality in African political text and talk

Professor David Odden

Ohio State University
Aspects of Llogoori tone