FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
20 SEPTEMBER 2022
ALASA & PanSALB TO HOST THE 23RD BIENNIAL INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE AFRICAN LANGUAGE ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN AFRICA
The African Language Association of Southern Africa (ALASA), in conjunction with the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB), the Department of African Language Studies and the Centre for Advanced Studies of African Society (CASAS) of the University of the Western Cape’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities will, on 21-24 September 2022, be hosting a four-day international language conference in Stellenbosch, Western Cape.
Under the theme “African Languages in Practice in the 21st Century”, the annual language conference takes place during Heritage Month (September) and is aimed at promoting research in indigenous African languages and exploring innovative ideas to advance their development.
“The conference brings together intergenerational experts in various language fields from all over the world and is designed to create a platform for language experts to put their heads together to identify issues that continue to subvert the development of African languages and find innovative ways to tackle them,” said the ALASA Chairperson, Prof Monwabisi Ralarala. He added that the association continued to invest in advancing the discourse on the development of African languages to dispel the notion that African languages have no place in an increasingly hegemonic and globalised society. “With this conference, we want to boldly display that our languages can compete at an academic, professional, and global scale. African languages can express a broad range of human expressions and subjects, the only requirement is that their development and promotion must be pursued fervently to place them in their rightful place in the 21st century” he added.
“As the Board, we remain steadfast in our pursuit for a society that recognises the African child’s right to participate in public life using their own language. This conference comes aptly during Heritage Month to restore the dignity and sense of belonging to the African people by advocating for their languages and creating a space for them in all sectors of society” said PanSALB Board Chairperson, Prof Lolie Makhubu-Badenhorst.
“Our Constitutional mandate compels us to create conditions for the development of our languages, there ought to be a social compact, therefore, between government, business, and civil society focused on elevating the status of African languages for us to effectively advance the founding provisions of the Constitution,” said PanSALB CEO, Mr Lance Schultz. “The ALASA conference is a melting pot of ideas from all over the world and provides an opportunity for knowledge sharing and exchange of information to chart a clear roadmap to advance the development and promotion of African languages in the 21st century” he added.
The ALASA conference will take place over the span of four days and will include the presentations of papers on linguistics and other related fields, the awarding of recipients of the PanSALB – ALASA Sizwe Satyo Language Development Award and the Via Afrika and ALASA awards, and the launch of a book titled ‘Language and the Law: Global Perspectives in Forensic Linguistics from Africa and beyond’ edited by Prof Monwabisi K. Ralarala, Prof Russell H. Kaschula and Prof Georgina Heydon.