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We especially welcome abstracts that address the conference theme of the interdisciplinary nature of language documentation. Language encodes knowledge from many facets of life: kinship, science, taxonomy, material culture, spirituality, music, and others. We encourage presentations on documenting these topics through the lens of endangered languages.

We are also seeking abstracts on the science of documentation and revitalization. Documentation is usually portrayed as a means of collecting language data, and revitalization is generally seen primarily as a kind of applied work directly benefiting communities. However, each of those domains is a genuine area of research, and we welcome presentations that treat documentation and revitalization not merely as activities, but also as domains requiring theorization in their own right.

In addition to the topics above, we warmly welcome abstracts on other subjects in language documentation and conservation, which may include but are not limited to:

  • Archiving matters
  • Community experiences of revitalization
  • Data management
  • Ethical issues
  • Language planning
  • Lexicography and reference grammar design
  • Methods of assessing ethnolinguistic vitality
  • Orthography design
  • Teaching/learning small languages
  • Technology in documentation – methods and pitfalls
  • Topics in areal language documentation
  • Training in documentation methods – beyond the university
  • Assessing success in documentation and revitalization strategies


Abstract submission

Abstracts should be submitted in English, but presentations can be in any language. We particularly welcome presentations in languages of the region discussed. Authors may submit no more than one individual and one joint (co-authored) proposal.

Abstracts are due by August 31, 2012, with notification of acceptance by October 1, 2012.

NOTE: The Call for Proposals deadline has already passed. We are no longer accepting proposals.

We ask for abstracts of no more than 400 words for online publication so that conference participants will have a good idea of the content of your paper, and a 50-word summary for inclusion in the conference program. All abstracts will be submitted to blind peer review by international experts on the topic (see below for review criteria).

We will only be accepting proposal submissions for papers or posters. Please note that the Advisory Committee may ask that some abstracts submitted as conference talks be presented as posters instead.

NOTE: We regret that we are unable to accept proposals for organized panel sessions this year due to our tight schedule of Master Classes. We would also like to be able to accept as many regular paper presentations as possible. We will do our best to group accepted presentations on similar topics in the same time frame.

Selected authors will be invited to submit their conference papers to the journal Language Documentation & Conservation for publication.


Proposal review criteria

  • Appropriateness of the Topic: Does the paper address the themes of the conference?
  • Presentation: Is the abstract well-written? Does it suggest that the paper will be well organized and clearly presented?
  • Importance of the Topic: Is this an important topic within the area? Is the paper likely to make an original contribution to
    knowledge in the field? Will the paper stimulate discussion?



To help defray travel expenses to come and present at the conference, scholarships of up to US$1,500 will be awarded to the six best abstracts by (i) students and/or (ii) members of an endangered language community who are actively working to document their heritage language and who are not employed by a college or university. If you are eligible and wish to be considered for a scholarship, please select the appropriate "Yes" button on the proposal submission form.

Presentation formats

Papers will be allowed 20 minutes for presentation with 10 minutes of question time.

Posters will be on display throughout the conference. Poster presentations will run during the lunch breaks.