call for papers

Venue: University of Nairobi Towers, Main Campus, Harry Thuku Road, Nairobi, Kenya 

(Hosted by: Department of Linguistics and Languages, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Nairobi, Kenya)

Conference dates: August 5 9, 2024

Aim and Scope

The research concerns of the World Congress of African Linguistics (WOCAL) revolve around the status of African Languages. Language is a key pillar and resource in the development of any society. For this reason, WOCAL11 is concerned with the gains, milestones and challenges in the use of African languages for development in Africa. It should be noted that globalization has had effects on them thus creating new language forms and practices. Since language is a key factor in the development of sustainable societies, the conference aims to bring together linguists, students, policy makers, practitioners and other scholars to discuss in detail the linguistic and cultural issues that affect or influence African languages.

Programme Organization

There will be plenary sessions for keynote addresses and parallel sessions for paper presentations. Poster sessions will also be included. Abstracts for paper presentations or posters are invited on (but not limited to) the following sub-themes: 

  • African linguistics (phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, language documentation, etc.)
  • African languages and governance
  • African languages and human rights 
  • African languages and inclusivity
  • African languages and gender
  • African languages and African history
  • African languages and technology
  • African languages in education
  • African languages and translation
  • African languages and interpretation
  • Orthographies of African languages
  • Literacy in African languages
  • Language diversity in Africa
  • Multingualism in Africa
  • Second language acquisition/ learning and use in Africa?
  • Foreign language learning and use in Africa? 
  • African Sign Languages   
  • Arabic in Africa 
  • African languages in the world
  • Language endangerment and revitalization in Africa
  • African languages and religion 
  • African languages and culture 

Apart from completed research, contributions from ongoing research are welcome.

Proposals for organizing special interest panels on themes related to the conference theme are invited. They will be scheduled as parallel panel sessions. The following one panel has already been planned and paper proposals for it are invited:

  • The Role of Kiswahili in Africa and the Rest of the world

Submission procedures

  • Abstracts should contain a maximum of 500 words, excluding references, and should NOT include the authors’ names but should include the title of the paper.
  • Your name, affiliation and the title of your paper should be sent on a separate sheet alongside the abstract. Please also indicate if you are a student. 
  • Abstracts should be sent in word document (or PDF document if it contains special symbols) to  
  • All submissions should be made in Times New Roman, 12pt. 
  • Paper presentations will be 20 minutes followed by a 10-minute discussion
  • Abstracts for the Kiswahili panel can be submitted in Kiswahili with an English translation.

Should you have queries, please send us an email on :

You can also find more details on the WOCAL11 webpage:

Important dates

The deadline for abstracts submission: December 1, 2023

Notification of acceptance:    January 12, 2024 

Conference Dates:      August 5 – 9, 2024

Conference Fees (transfer info below)

Regular researchers:  Professors and senior researchers (180 $)

Doctoral/Master students (80 $)

Kenyan students (60 $)

Early birds: April 31st, 2023 (160 $)

Conference Language

The WOCAL11 Nairobi congress language is English. Papers can be presented in English, Kiswahili, Arabic, French, Korean, Portuguese, and Chinese; however, abstracts of all papers must be submitted in English.

Conference Venue 

University of Nairobi Towers, Main Campus (Harry Thuku Road, Nairobi, Kenya)