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Second call for Papers
International conference of the African Language Association of Southern Africa: Documenting, safeguarding and empowering African languages
and cultures. Click
Prestigious prizes for the encouragement of the publication of high
level research in language and literature are awarded annually through
ALASA. The sponsorship for these prizes has facilitated the ongoing
collaboration between ALASA and private sector business towards empowering
its members whilst developing and refining its infrastructure and its
networking with its members. Previous sponsors include the following:
Via Afrika, Shuter and Shooter and Milubi Publishers.
Nominations for the ALASA prizes:
1. In order to qualify for the ALASA prizes, contributions have to be
nominated in writing and directed to the ALASA Board.
2. A copy of the journal or photocopy of the article should be included.
3. Contributions that appear in the South African Journal of African
Languages as well as its Supplement, and the South African Journal of
Linguistics qualify automatically and do not have to be nominated.
4. Contributions dealing with aspects of African linguistics or literature
that have appeared in other journals or books may be nominated by anybody.
5. Authors may also nominate their own work.
6. Only contributions that have been published in the current year may
be nominated for the award in the following year.
7. The closing date for nominations is 28 February each year.
Evaluation of the articles:
The adjudicators are requested to evaluate articles along the following
1. Originality: Does the author touch on a field of study that is as
2. Factual material: Is the factual material presented as being completely
fresh, thoroughly researched and entirely conclusive?
3. Sources: Has the author consulted all available sources, supplied
the necessary acknowledgements, handled the material judiciously and
avoided unnecessary repetition?
4. Standard: Does the author achieve a standard in his/her article that
can be considered international?
5. Exposition: Have problem issues been well identified and addressed?
6. Clarity: Is the whole discussion completely clear to the reader?
2001 Prof Louis Louwrens (UNISA)
2001 to be announced in 2002
Special Track for Human Language Technologies
The Special Track for human language technologies (HLT) at the International
ALASA conference, a first of its kind in the history of ALASA, took
place from 4 to 5 July 2005 at the University of Johannesburg. All in
all 19 papers were read on HLT with very positive feed-back from delegates.
We were honoured by a keynote address by Prof. Dafydd Gibbon (Universität
Bielefeld, Germany), a renowned international researcher in the field
of natural language and speech processing, on the topic “Between
world languages and natural catastrophes: What linguists can do about
the threat to diversity of species in the languages of the world”.
At a special meeting of the ALASA SIG for Language and Speech Technology
Development, held during the conference, and facilitated by Prof. Dafydd
Gibbon, the following suggestions were made:
- that the SIG become involved beyond the borders of South Africa
and in particular make efforts to link up with conferences such as the
5th World Congress of African Linguistics (WOCAL) and 25th West African
Languages Congress (WALC), both to be held in 2006.
- that a workshop on language resources development in Africa
be proposed for the 5th International Language Resources and Evaluation
Conference (LREC2006) with the co-operation of colleagues from west
and east Africa.
- that short training courses be continued and expanded, possibly
including the concept “training for trainers”. Suggestions
for such training programmes (topics as well as presenters) are welcome.
- that links with other interest groups and / or organisations
could be considered to further the aims of the SIG activities (suggestions
and names of contact persons are awaited).
The current co-ordinators of activities within the SIG, Sonja Bosch,
Justus Roux and Danie Prinsloo were requested to attend to the above suggestions
and to co-opt any person working in the field to assist where necessary.
South African Journal of African Languages - Special Edition
The conference proceedings of the above mentioned Special Track for Human
Language Technologies are due to appear as two Special Editions of the South
African Journal of African Languages, Volume 25 No. 1 and No. 2. The guest editors
are Prof. Justus Roux (University of Stellenbosch) and Prof. Sonja Bosch
(University of South Africa).
Networking the development of language resources for African languages -
Pre-Conference Workshop of the Fifth International Language Resources and Evaluation Conference (LREC 2006)
Following the suggestions made at the special meeting of the ALASA
SIG for Language and Speech Technology Development, held on 4 July 2005,
a workshop on Networking the development of language resources for
African languages, is to be held on 22 May 2006, prior to the Fifth
International Language Resources and Evaluation Conference (LREC 2006),
in Genoa, Italy.
The broad aim of the workshop is to develop an academic network for sharing ideas, and for cooperation
in the development of resources and tools for the African languages which may entail regional workshops,
conferences, training courses etc. This network should be supported by a physical network (a dedicated server
and web-site) to facilitate regular interaction between role players in Africa and globally. The specific aim
is to acquire adequate and reliable information on existing resources and tools in each of the regions
(Western, Eastern, Central and Southern Africa). The workshop organisers are Justus Roux and Sonja Bosch (
Southern Africa), Arvi Hurskainen (Eastern Africa), Dafydd Gibbon (Western Africa) and James Emejulu
Standards for text annotation in African languages
A Round Table discussion on standards for text annotation for African languages was held at the South
African Bureau of Standards in Pretoria on 3 February 2006. A workshop on this topic is to be held in
September 2006. More details will be posted on the web page
Sonja Bosch (Convenor)