Friday, January 08, 2016

Two upcoming meetings on language & ICT in Africa

Here are summaries of CFPs for two meetings to be held later this year which treat different aspects of the meeting of African languages and ICTs (information and communication technologies). There may yet be others, but for these, basic information from the calls for participation (CFPs), including dates and links, follows:

BAAL Language in Africa SIG, London, 6 May 2016

With the theme "Technology and Media: Emerging Trends in Africa and the Diaspora" the annual meeting of the Language in Africa Special Interest Group of the British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL) will be held at the University of East London on 6 May 2016.

Papers are invited on the general theme of the conference, and "could include, for example:
  • Technology and education, including language learning
  • Networking over time and space – Africa and the diaspora
  • Technology and migration
  • New uses of technology in research
  • Language corpora
  • Electronic translation
  • Representation of  African languages and cultures using new technologies such as the web and digital video"
Abstracts of proposed papers, of up to 250 words, due by 28 March 2016. Send to Annette Islei, Convenor LiA SIG, annetteislei at gmail dot com

For more information, see the Language in Africa SIG page on the BAAL site (scroll down for the "Annual meeting" CFP)

Interspeech 2016 Special Session, San Francisco, 8-12 Sept. 2016

Entitled "Sub-Saharan African languages: from speech fundamentals to applications" this special session of the Interspeech 2016 conference (8-12 September 2016) "aims at gathering researchers in speech technology (automatic speech recognition, text-to-speech synthesis…) and researchers in linguistics (field linguists, phoneticians…) working in language documentation and fundamentals of speech science." "Such a partnership is particularly important for Sub-Saharan African languages which tend to remain under-resourced, under-documented and often also un-written."

"Prospective authors are invited to submit original papers in the following areas:
  • ASR and TTS for Sub-Saharan African languages and dialects
  • Cross-lingual and multi-lingual acoustic and lexical modeling
  • Applications of spoken language technologies for the African continent
  • Phonetic and linguistic studies in Sub-Saharan African languages
  • Zero resource speech technologies: unsupervised discovery of linguistic units
  • Language documentation for endangered languages of Africa
  • Machine-assisted annotation of speech and laboratory phonology
  • Resource / Corpora production in African languages"
The deadline for submission is 23 March 2016 (same as for the rest of the conference).

For further information on this Interspeech 2016 special session, see pages on

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