Call for Papers

The first Symposium on West African Languages (SyWAL2014) will be held at the University of Naples “L’Orientale” (Department of Asian, African and Mediterranean Studies), Italy, on March 27 and 28. The SyWAL is meant to serve as a venue for those scholars working on West African languages under a wide spectrum of theoretical perspectives and research approaches. We encourage submissions highlighting descriptive, documental and theoretical issues arising across different regions and linguistic phyla of West Africa.


The proposals should fall within the following 6 macro-areas of research:


- Descriptive linguistics

- Language contact

- Documentation theory and practice

- Fieldwork methods

- Language, culture and society

- Sociolinguistics of endangered languages


Submissions from PhD candidates and junior scholars are particularly welcome.


Abstract submission:

Papers at SyWAL are the standard 20 minutes + 10 discussion.


All abstracts should be in English or French and submitted electronically as PDF files through EasyChair:


(EasyChair in short: create an account > receive a confirmation link by email > enter your EasyChair profile > go to "New Submission" on the left > fill out the form > attach your abstract > submit)


Abstracts should be no more than 350 words long, including examples and excluding references. Make sure to remove any author identification in the abstract itself, as submissions should be anonymous.


The due date for the submission of abstracts is January 24; decisions will be announced by February 5.


Selected papers will be published in an edited book (upon budget approval). All the accepted presenters will be provided with the relevant guidelines in order to prepare and submit the papers.


Conference fee:

Attending, contributing, and enjoying the symposium is absolutely free of charge.


Keynote speakers:

Herrmann Jungraithmayr,  J.W. Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main
Nina Pawlak, University of Warsaw
Anne Storch, University of Cologne
Henry Tourneux, CNRS-LLACAN



Symposium website:


Symposium Facebook page:



Important dates:

Submission deadline: 24 January 2014 (Friday)

Notification of acceptance: 5 February 2014 (Wednesday)

Conference: 27-28 March 2014 (Thursday-Friday)

Full paper submission: 15 April 2013 (Tuesday)


Organizing committee:

Prof. Sergio Baldi

Dr. Gian Claudio Batic

Dr. Alessandro Suzzi Valli