Languages in Africa: Linguistic Planning and Territoriality

20 Mar Languages in Africa: Linguistic Planning and Territoriality

El Center of Research for Arabization acogerá del 3 al 5 de julio de 2017 el congreso internacional “Languages in Africa: Linguistic Planning and Territoriality”, al que acudirán investigadores africanos especialistas en lingüística, pedagogía del lenguaje y otras áreas de esta temática.

Aquellas personas interesadas en participar, deberán enviar un abstract de no más de 250 palabras a: Los idiomas admitidos en el congreso son el árabe, inglés y francés, y se contará con traducción simultánea. Además, algunas de las comunicaciones resultarán seleccionadas para una posterior publicación.

Aunque se aceptarán comunicaciones con una temática relacionada al congreso, los organizadores proponen las siguientes áreas temáticas:

  1. La situación lingüística en los países africanos y la aproximación a la planificación lingüística;
  2. Pluralismo lingüístico en África: constantes de identidad y necesidad de apertura;
  3. Derechos lungüísticos en los países africanos;
  4. Lenguas africanas y comunicación administrativa;
  5. Lenguas africanas y medios de comunicación;
  6. El árabe en África y el papel jugado por las “zawaya” en su protección;
  7. El papel de la literatura africana en la protección de la identidad africana.


Recently, there has been a burgeoning interest in studying African languages among researchers across various disciplines. This interest is attributed to the fact that African languages reflect a human civilizational heritage and serve as communicatory means of connecting a population of over one billion people. The number of these languages (and dialects) exceeds two thousand, representing 30 percent of the worlds active languages. Despite this diversity, the African linguistic situation is characterized by plurality and co-existence, and it is divided into two groups:            1) national/native languages, and 2) foreign languages, including those inherited from colonization such as French, English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Throughout the last four decades, African countries have emphasized the importance of national languages, within the framework of protecting the purely African cultural identity. This linguistic shift emerged during independence as African countries became entangled in an inherited educational system. At the same time, African countries suffered from linguistic and cultural marginalization and repression in addition to illiteracy, which was growing due to the population boom and suffering from the low level of education. These impediments thwarted sociocultural development.

Notwithstanding the above-mentioned factors, substantial efforts have been made to protect and back African languages at both the local and international levels. Numerous international institutions supported the independence of African countries to encourage them to develop their non-material capital, cultural wealth, educational system and languages.

Many linguists have conducted research on African languages, roughly covering all the countries in Africa. There are a plethora of departments of language and linguistics as well as centers of research that have devoted time and resources to this issue. They have produced a comprehensive accumulation, which assists in drawing up straightforward methods and tools appropriate for teaching African languages and choosing the most suitable letters to computerize African languages like all languages used in the world.

However, the African continent must make more efforts and overcome many problems regarding linguistic protection and development. The African continent is still faced with a range of obstacles that imped the achievement of this objective. These obstacles are historical, political, socio-cultural and pedagogical.

To shed light on this issue, the Center of Research for Arabization will host an international conference under the following title: “African Languages: Linguistic Planning and Territories”. The conference will be held from the 5th through the 7th of July 2017. It will be attended by an elite group of African researchers that are specialized in linguistics, media, administration, and pedagogy of language instruction and who possess an affiliation with a multitude of universities and institutions. The objective of the conference is to deal with various issues relating to the topic.

The suggested framework of this academic event is as follows:

1-     Linguistic situation in African countries and approaches  to linguistic planning;

2-     Linguistic pluralism in Africa: constants of identity and necessity of openness;

3-     Linguistic rights in African countries;

4-     African languages and administrative communication;

5-     African languages and mass media;

6-     Arabic language in Africa and the role of  “zawaya” in its protection;

7-     The role of African literature in protecting African identity.

These are proposed subjects we compiled as examples. We assure that all your suggested issues relating to the conference theme are welcomed.

Languages of the conference include Arabic, French and English; simultaneous interpretation will be available.

Organizers will be in charge of publishing the selected papers.

Important dates:

–        From March 1-31, 2017: receiving the titles and abstracts of the participations (the abstract is no more than 250 words);

–        April 15, 2017: informing participants which applications are accepted;

–        June 15, 2017: reception of papers;

–        July 2nd, 2017: receiving the participants;

–        July 3 -5, 2017: conference events

–        July 8th, 2017: organized visits

–        July 9th, 2017: the end of the conference.


Applications must be sent to the following email address:


Fuente: Sociology of Islam

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