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New York University, Radboud University Nijmegen, the University of Ghana and Giessen University are pleased to announce:

The 2011 summer conference of the Society for Pidgin and Creole Linguistics was held in Accra, Ghana, from 2 to 6 August.
The conference topic was "Traces of Contact".


Handouts of talks presented at the conference can be downloaded here and photos here .


Conference venue

In spite of the importance of Africa in the development of Atlantic Pidgins and Creoles, this is the first time that SPCL will meet in Africa. The meeting is sponsored by New York University, Radboud University Nijmegen, the University of Ghana and Giessen University and will be held The meeting is sponsored by New York University, Radboud University Nijmegen, the University of Ghana and Giessen University and will be held on the verdant and spacious campus of the University of Ghana at Legon, a suburb of the capital Accra. The conference will be hosted by the Department of Linguistics and the Department of English. Conference participants will be accommodated in comfortable, air-conditioned, en-suite rooms on campus (ca. US$40-45/single/night). Those who wish to stay in hotels will find many in nearby East Legon and we can also provide very basic shoestring accommodation in students' hostels on campus (from ca. US$5.50/night). For information on Ghana, visit the Ghana Tourism website.

Academic programme

The conference will focus on the structure, social aspects, educational and other pertinent issues of pidgins, creoles and other contact languages, as well as on the history of the discipline. The programme will consist of full papers, work-in-progress reports, as well as invited plenary talks on the history, sociolinguistics, and the structure of West African languages, including pidgins and creoles.

The special conference theme is "Traces of Contact": The languages traditionally defined as creoles and pidgins often form part of complex contact scenarios. Their phonology, grammar, and lexicon are influenced by the other languages that they are in contact with. This is the case in Suriname, where several creoles are in contact with each other, in Papua New Guinea, where Tok Pisin is in contact with the English lexifier superstrate, in Equatorial Guinea, where Pichi is influenced by the non-lexifier superstrate Spanish, and in Mauritius where the adstrate Bhojpuri plays a role, to mention only a few examples. Inherited substrate features also continue to influence the trajectory of creoles and pidgins. The study of these stratal forces can contribute to our understanding of the typological diversity of creoles and pidgins and help us tease apart external and internal forces of change in these languages. More

Social programme

In addition to a series of evening programmes during the conference, we plan to organise a trip to the botanical gardens at Aburi, overlooking the coastal plain of Accra.

Post-conference excursion

Given the historical importance of Ghana as one of the epicentres of the transatlantic slave trade, a post-conference excursion will be offered to interested participants. The excursion is scheduled from Sunday 7th to Tuesday 9th August 2011 and will take participants along the Western seaboard of Ghana to three forts and castles: the vestiges of Fort Amsterdam (Fort Cormantin) as well as the well-preserved Cape Coast and Elmina Castles. We will also visit Kakum National Park, mostly undisturbed virgin rainforest with a canopy walk suspended between trees. We aim to be back in Accra in time for participants to catch their evening flights on 9th August. More

 Organising committee

International Organisers: Magnus Huber (University of Giessen, Germany), John Singler (New York University, USA), Kofi Yakpo (University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands).

Local Organisers: Department of Linguistics: Kofi Agyekum, Evershed Amuzu, Akosua Anyidoho (also NYU Accra), Kofi Saah. Department of English: Jemima Anderson, Kari Dako, Kwaku Osei-Tutu.