75 years of Linguistics at SOAS
5 years of the Endangered Languages Project

Conference on Language Documentation and Linguistic Theory

7-8 December 2007, SOAS, London


About the conference

In 2007 the Department of Linguistics at School of Oriental and African Studies celebrates its 75th anniversary. Founded in 1932 as the first department of general linguistics in Britain, the research carried out by linguistics within the department has made a significant and lasting impact on the fields of language documentation and description and linguistic theory.

This conference marks the 75 year tradition of linguistics within the School and the 5th anniversary of the Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project, comprising the Endangered Languages Academic Programme (ELAP), the Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR), and the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme (ELDP).

The conference aims to bring together researchers working on linguistic theory and language documentation and description, with a particular focus on innovative work on underdescribed or endangered languages, especially those of Asia and Africa. Our goal is to provide a forum to discuss the ways that linguists and others, especially community members, can respond to the current challenges to linguistic diversity and build on experiences of the past.


The conference features plenary lectures from two leading academics, Phillip Cash Cash and Richard Hudson.

For other speakers, please see the Programme page


  • implications of language documentation and description for linguistic theory
  • implications of linguistic theory for language documentation and description
  • experiences of language documentation and description and linguistic theory at SOAS
  • new techniques and opportunities for documenting and describing languages
  • community-oriented outcomes of endangered languages research

Accepted papers

Acceptances have been notified. Presenters are asked to produce a "short version" of their paper (about 5-10 pages in length) for a printed collection to be included in the conference pack. The "short versions" must be sent to us by 19 November 2007.

Style sheets for "short versions":

  • Style instructions in pdf format ... download
  • Style instructions in doc format (also contains defined Word styles) ... download
  • MS Word template with defined styles (for those familiar with using styles) ... download

Celebration lunch

There will be a celebratory lunch on Saturday 8 December with a short address by Professor Graham Furniss, Chair of the ELDP Panel and former Dean of the Faculty of Languages and Cultures, outlining some of the history and developments in Linguistics and Endangered Languages at SOAS. Linguistics Department alumni and former staff are particularly welcome to attend the celebration lunch and are invited to contact as via conference@hrelp.org to reserve a place.


Please contact Jacqui Freeman conference@hrelp.org.

Organising committee

The organising committee consists of:

  • Peter Austin
  • Oliver Bond
  • Monik Charette
  • Alison Kelly
  • David Nathan