FEL logo

Foundation for Endangered Languages

FEL XXI - Alcanena, Portugal
19-21 October 2017

Communities in Control:
Learning tools and strategies for multilingual endangered language communities

Hotel Aerosol Alcanena
R. Zeca Afonso, 2380-909 Alcanena

This page last updated: 15th September 2017

This year's FEL conference, FEL XXI Alcanena, is presented in collaboration with the following organisations:

  • Mercator Research Centre (Netherlands)
  • SOAS World Languages Institute (University of London, UK)
  • Interdisciplinary Centre for Social and Language Documentation (CIDLeS, Portugal)

Organising committee:

  • Vera Ferreira (CIDLeS)
  • Cor van der Meer (Mercator)
  • Mandana Seyfeddinipur (SOAS University of London)
  • Nicholas Ostler (FEL)
  • Steven Krauwer (CLARIN)


During the last two decades many regional, minority, and endangered languages have been documented, leading to the creation of various archived collections. This has mostly been a scholar-driven effort where the language communities have, themselves, not been involved and have not identified with the documentation projects. Most of the data thus produced, especially archived material, has, consequently, been too little used by communities for their own initiatives.

This situation requires an urgent shift in the research model and archive interfaces. It is extremely important to work directly and in collaboration with speech communities; to empower them by enabling them to participate and to bring their own needs, interests and expertise to defining and implementing research agendas and projects.

Whilst it is understandable that language documentation should follow the initiatives of scholars and communities, revitalisation - if it is to be successful - needs to be community-driven. Revitalisation should be a bottom-up process, motivated, desired and designed by the community; it must be integrated into and inseparable from everyday life.

This 3-day conference thus focuses on community-driven activities. Abstracts are invited for papers on the following subtopics:

  • Community-driven revitalisation projects
  • Use of archives for language safeguarding, revitalisation and teaching
  • Connecting communities to archived collections: content, interface, language
  • Development of linguistic tourism: connecting language revitalisation
    to local economic development as a way of increasing the status of local languages

Format of presentations

Each presentation will be assigned 30 minutes. We recommend allowing 5 to 10 minutes of this time for questions and discussion.

Abstract submission

The call for abstracts is now closed.

Write your abstract as a single page, in English, up to 500 words in length, and including 3 to 5 keywords, as an MS Word or PDF document.

Send your abstract to both of the following email addresses:

In the body of your email, separate from the abstract, include the following information:

  • AUTHOR(S): Names of the author(s)
  • INSTITUTION(S): Institutional affiliation(s), if any
  • PHONE: Phone number(s) of the author(s)
  • E-MAIL(S): E-mail address(es) of the author(s)

Proceedings papers

Accepted authors are expected to submit a paper for the Proceedings in advance of the conference. They will receive a style-sheet with their notice of acceptance.

Important dates and deadlines

  • Call for abstracts announced: 1 June 2017
  • Registration opens: 12 June 2017
  • Abstract submission deadline: 15 July 2017
  • Notification of acceptance: 1 August 2017
  • Submission of completed paper (for accepted papers): 15 September 2017
  • Conference: 19-21 October 2017

Further information and main conference website

See the main conference website at www.cidles.eu/events/mercator-soas-cidles-fel-2017 for regular updates and all details of the conference.

Or, for further information, contact info@cidles.eu.

FEL Blog

FEL on Facebook

Contact us

FEL is a not-for-profit charity registered in England, Wales and the USA

©2021 Foundation for Endangered Languages

Privacy statement