Linguistics and English Language

15th Nilo-Saharan Linguistics Colloquium




Over several decades, the Nilo-Saharan Linguistics Colloquium has become established as a valuable forum for the dissemination and discussion of research findings among linguists investigating the languages that belong to the Nilo-Saharan language family, which stretches from Algeria to Tanzania.

Due to potential impact from COVID-19, the 15th Nilo-Saharan Linguistics Colloquium will now take place online, still from Wednesday to Friday, 4-6 August 2021. The abstract deadline has been extended to 28 February, 2021, and authors will be informed about the outcome by 30 April, 2021.

The conference is organised by researchers at the University of Edinburgh, with the support of an international scientific committee (see below). We invite contributions relating to all aspects of the study of Nilo-Saharan languages, including but not limited to phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, documentation, acquisition, applied linguistics, sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, and language variation. The conference aims to promote the participation of African scholars in linguistics. To this end, internet hubs will be organized in four East African capitals: Nairobi (Kenya), Juba (South Sudan), Khartoum (Sudan), and Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) to ensure online access.

The special theme of the conference is applied linguistics, which covers topics such as orthography development, the representation of tone and other suprasegmentals in orthography, tone teaching, phonology- vs. morphology-based orthographic conventions, linguistic and sociolinguistic challenges of orthography and literacy development, orthographic assumptions behind reading instructional method, the production of literacy materials, literacy in primary school education, etc. Three specialists in the field of applied linguistics are participating as invited speakers: Constance Kutsch Lojenga (Leiden University and SIL International), Barbara Trudell (SIL International), and Dorcas Wepukhulu (African Storybook).

Call for Papers

To present at the conference, please submit an anonymous abstract for review. The abstract should be submitted in pdf format to by 28 February 2021. The text of your abstract, including examples, should not exceed one page, with a font size no smaller than 12pt. A bibliography and any images can be included on a second page. Contributions can be in the form of an oral presentation or as a poster. The preference for oral vs. poster presentation should be included in the header of the abstract, stating either [oral] or [poster]. Please ensure that the pdf is anonymized, also in the document properties, before submitting. Each abstract will be evaluated by at least two reviewers, and authors will be informed about the outcome of this process by 30 April 2021.

There will be a Nubian panel at the conference. We also welcome suggestions for panels and workshops.


Organizing committee at the University of Edinburgh

  • Mirella Blum
  • Tatiana Reid
  • Bert Remijsen (convenor)

International scientific committee

  • Colleen Ahland (California State University)
  • Torben Andersen (Aalborg University)
  • Dmitry Bondarev (University of Hamburg)
  • Denis Creissels (University of Lyon)
  • Richard Griscom (Leiden University)
  • Jeffrey Heath (University of Michigan)
  • Angelika Jakobi (University of Cologne)
  • Prisca Jerono (University of Nairobi)
  • Angelika Mietzner (University of Cologne)
  • Alice Mitchell (University of Cologne)
  • Manuel Otero (Eastern Connecticut State University)
  • Doris Payne (University of Oregon)
  • Helga Schroeder (University of Nairobi)
  • Tim Stirtz (SIL International)
  • Christine Waag (SIL International)


NSLC2021 organizers


15th Nilo-Saharan Linguistics Colloquium

2021-08-04: Linguistics Colloquium