Call for Submissions on Indigenous Languages

The United Nations has declared 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages. In recognition of this, Language is encouraging submissions dealing with research on any aspect of Indigenous languages. Papers on Indigenous languages have contributed to linguistics in significant ways. Just a few of the many influential Language articles that rely on data from Indigenous languages: Leonard Bloomfield, On sound change in Central Algonquian (1925); Marianne Mithun, On the nature of noun incorporation (1986); Anthony Woodbury, Meaningful phonological processes: A consideration of Central Alaskan Eskimo prosody (1987); Larry Hyman and Francis Katamba, A new approach to tone in Luganda (1993); Alice Harris, Where in the word is the Udi clitic? (2000); Nicholas Evans, Dunstan Brown, and Greville Corbett, The semantics of gender in Mayali: Partially parallel systems and formal implementation (2002); Rachel Nordlinger and Louisa Sadler, Nominal tense in cross-linguistic perspective (2004); Joe Blythe, Preference organization driving structuration: Evidence from Australian Aboriginal Interaction for pragmatically motivated grammaticalization (2013); Judith Tonhauser, David Beaver, Craige Roberts, and Mandy Simons, Toward a taxonomy of projective content (2103); and Laura McPherson and Kevin Ryan, Tone-tune association in Tommo So (Dogon) folk songs (2018).

This call is very broad - articles in any area of linguistics will be considered - phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, computational linguistics, language policy, historical linguistics, methodologies, revitalization, and so on. Papers will go through the normal review procedure. When you submit, please include in the ‘comments for the editor’ portion of the submission form that the submission is related to the International Year of Indigenous Languages.

Andries Coetzee, Editor
Megan Crowhurst, Co-Editor
In collaboration with the joint LSA/SSILA Ad-Hoc Committee on the UN’s IYIL (Keren Rice, Shannon Bischoff, Jorge Emilio Rosés Labrada, Michal Temkin Martínez)


*UNESCO definition of "Indigenous" (as also used by the the LSA for the fee waiver program at the annual meeting)

All definitions of the concept of ‘Indigenous’ regard self-identification as a fundamental criterion for determining the groups to which the term Indigenous should be applied. Within the UN family, the ILO (ILO Convention 169) defines Indigenous and Tribal people as follows:

“Tribal people in independent countries whose social, cultural and economic conditions distinguish them from other sections of the national community, and whose status is regulated wholly or partially by their own customs or traditions or by special laws or regulations. People in independent countries who are regarded as Indigenous on account of their descent from the populations which inhabited the country, or geographical region to which the country belongs, at the time of conquest or colonization or the establishment of present state boundaries and who irrespective of their legal status, retain some or all of their own social, economic, cultural and political institutions.”