CFP: 5th Int. Conference on Language Documentation & Conservation (U. of Hawai’i-Mānoa)

Deadline for Proposals: August 31, 2016


General papers, posters, and electronic posters



The 5th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC), “Vital Voices: Linking Language & Wellbeing,” will be held March 2-5, 2017, at the Hawaiʻi Imin International Conference Center on the campus of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. The 5th ICLDC is hosted by the Department of Linguistics and the National Foreign Language Resource Center at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

The conference program will feature two keynote talks, Talk Story roundtable discussions, and Workshops (pending final approval of funding). An optional Hilo Field Study (on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi) to visit Hawaiian language revitalization programs in action will immediately precede the conference (February 28-March 1).

The theme of the 5th ICLDC is “Vital Voices: Linking Language & Wellbeing.” Wellbeing is a state of the body and mind that encompasses the presence of positive moods and emotions, life satisfaction, fulfillment and positive functioning, and the absence of negative emotions like anxiety. Increasingly, researchers in several fields have noted a positive correlation between language maintenance and wellbeing in endangered language communities. While the nature of the connection between language and wellbeing remains the subject of much debate, the existence of a connection is not entirely unexpected, given the range of outcomes associated with wellbeing.

In addition, languages encode knowledge systems, so language loss represents not only the loss of a communicative system, but also the loss of traditional knowledge systems. Importantly, traditional knowledge systems encode cultural practices related to well-being. Understanding the connections between language and wellbeing will potentially have implications for public health and policy and beyond, but also for language researchers, since traditional knowledge systems are among the most threatened domains of endangered language. Knowledge of esoteric domains such as botanical classification and traditional medicines is forgotten well before basic vocabulary and language structure. Hence, these areas of traditional knowledge are precisely the areas which need to be prioritized by language documenters.

Exploring the connections between language and wellbeing is potentially transformational for language documentation and conservation, and thus it will be the theme for the 5th ICLDC. We aim to build on the strong momentum created by the 1st–4th ICLDCs to discuss research and revitalization approaches yielding rich records that can benefit both the field of language documentation and speech communities. We hope you will join us.

For more information and links to past conferences, visit our conference website:


Proposal deadline: August 31, 2016


We especially welcome abstracts that address the conference theme, “Vital Voices: Linking Language and Wellbeing” (see description above). In addition, we warmly welcome abstracts on other subjects in language documentation and conservation, which may include but are not limited to:
  • Archiving matters
  • Assessing success in documentation and revitalization strategies
  • Community experiences of revitalization
  • Data management
  • Ethical issues
  • Language planning
  • Lexicography and grammar design
  • Methods of assessing ethnolinguistic vitality
  • Orthography design
  • Teaching/learning small languages
  • Technology in documentation – methods and pitfalls
  • Topics in areal language documentation
  • Training in documentation methods – beyond the university
Presentation formats
Papers will be allowed 20 minutes for presentation with 10 minutes of question time.Posters will be on display throughout the day of presentation. Poster presentations will run during the lunch. Poster presentations are recommended for authors who wish to present smaller, more specific topics, or descriptions of particular projects. Electronic posters (e-posters) are opportunities for presentations of software, websites, and other computer-based projects, in an environment that allows face-to-face interaction with the audience. Similar to a traditional poster session, e-poster presenters will use their own laptop computers to display their projects while the audience walks around, watching demonstrations and asking questions. E-poster sessions will take place during lunch in a room with tables and internet access.



Rules for submission in all categories:
  • Abstracts should be submitted in English, but presentations can be in any language. We particularly welcome presentations in languages of the region discussed.
  • Authors may submit no more than one individual and one co-authored proposal, or no more than two co-authored proposals. In no case may an author submit more than one individually-authored proposal.
  • Proposals for general papers, posters, and electronic posters are due by August 31, 2016, with notification of acceptance by October 1, 2016.
  • We will not be accepting any proposals for panel presentations or colloquia.
  • Because of limited space, please note that the Abstract Review Committee may ask that some general abstracts submitted as papers be presented as posters or electronic posters instead.
  • Selected authors will be invited to submit their conference papers to the journal Language Documentation & Conservation for publication.
How to prepare your proposal:
  • For proposals for general papers, posters, and electronic posters: We ask for abstracts of no more than 400 words for online publication so that conference participants will have a good idea of the content of your paper, and a 50-word summary for inclusion in the conference program. All abstracts will be submitted to blind peer review by international experts on the topic.
  • To facilitate blind peer review, please DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME OR AFFILIATION in your abstract or filename. Your proposal should only include your presentation title, abstract, and list of references (if applicable).
  • If you are including references/citations to your own work in your abstract, please be sure to replace your name(s) with “Author”. For example, if you are Ted Smith and you wrote an article in 2009, which you are citing in your file (i.e., Smith (2009) ), you would change it to “Author (2009).”  If you are including a list of references at the end, also make sure to anonymize any of your publications similarly as well.
  • Please note that your reference list is not counted in your 400-word abstract maximum, only the main abstract text.
  • Please save your abstract as an MS WORD DOCUMENT or PDF FILE. MS Word is preferred. However, if you are using special fonts, special characters, or diagrams in your abstract, a PDF file is recommended to make sure it displays as you intend.
  • For a FILE NAME, use an abbreviated version of your title. For example, if your presentation title is “Revitalizing Hawaiian for the next generation: Social media tools,” your filename might be “Revitalizing_Hawaiian.doc” or “Revitalizing_Hawaiian_social_media.pdf”
  • Please follow the guidelines above when preparing your abstract. Submitted proposals that ignore them may be returned.

To submit an online proposal, visit and click on “Call For Proposals.”

Proposal review criteria:
  • Appropriateness of the topic: Does the proposal address the themes of the conference?
  • Presentation: Is the abstract well-written? Does it suggest that the paper/poster will be well organized and clearly presented?
  • Importance of the topic: Is this an important topic within the area? Is the paper/poster likely to make an original contribution to knowledge in the field? Will it stimulate discussion?
  • Contribution to the discipline: For talks, does the presentation make a methodological or theoretical contribution to the discipline? If not (e.g., project descriptions), could the presentation be submitted as a poster or electronic poster?



  • April 2016: Call for Proposals announced
  • August 31, 2016: Proposals for general papers, posters, and electronic posters deadline
  • October 1, 2016: Notification of acceptance for general papers, posters, and electronic posters
  • October 1, 2016: Early registration opens
  • December 15, 2016: Early registration deadline. Regular registration continues until full.
  • March 2-5, 2017: 5th ICLDC

To help defray travel expenses to come and present at the conference, scholarships of up to US$1,500 will be awarded to the six best abstracts by (i) students and/or (ii) members of an endangered language community who are actively working to document their heritage language and who are not employed by a college or university. If you are eligible and wish to be considered for a scholarship, please select the appropriate “Yes” button on the proposal submission form. This is applicable to regular conference papers only. The scholarships are funded by support from the National Science Foundation Documenting Endangered Languages Program. 


NOTE: Please be advised that these scholarships are considered taxable income under U.S. tax laws. U.S. citizens and permanent residents can expect to receive a 1099 form to figure into their annual tax return for 2017. Non-U.S. citizens/residents may have the applicable taxable amount (typically 30%) deducted from the scholarship check prior to receipt.

Questions?  Feel free to contact us at