18-19 January 2018

A joint initiative of LSSA & SAALA

University of the Free State, Bloemfontein

The linguistic disciplines are articulated within a Southern African context characterized by rich linguistic diversity. However this diversity exists within spaces intersected by complex linguistic power relations, English hegemony, prescriptive linguistic attitudes, social and economic exclusion, identity and aspirations among many others. Some of these issues have been highlighted by more inclusive student demographics, by popular movements (both within higher education and in society more broadly), calls for rethinking the role of language in HE and calls for decolonizing HE. While South African institutions of Higher Education have been transforming during the past 21 years of democracy (and before), recent political developments have brought many of these issues to the fore and have contested narratives of transformation, inclusivity and change. Equally, there may be the possibility of threats to the transformational project, both from reactionary special-interest groups on left and right as well as from the imperative of the state to cater to the needs of economic development. Against this backdrop, it is appropriate for Linguists to proactively articulate the role and relevance of linguistics and the linguistic sub-disciplines within a transforming South Africa.

The Linguistics Society of Southern Africa and the South African Applied Linguistics Association will host the second summit of linguists to discuss these issues to review progress, and build on the work and implement the resolutions from the first workshop (held in January 2016).

Format & Issues to be discussed

Issues will be discussed in a collegial atmosphere with the intention of identifying our challenges, learning from each other and supporting each other as we transform the disciplinary practice of linguistics. We will not presuppose any particular transformational ideology other than that transformation must be deep and meaningful and is a prerequisite for a free, equal and democratic society that can meet the aspirations of the nation. Indeed, one of the goals of the meeting will be to engage with different ideas about and conceptions of transformation. The format will consist of a few selected “thought pieces”, followed by discussions and breakaways into subcommittees. Issues for discussion may include:

  • The importance and relevance of linguistics curricula to a changing South Africa
  • What transformation means in different departmental contexts
  • Transformation of the student body
  • Transformation of linguistics curricula (broadly construed as including content, assessment, outcomes, pedagogy etc.)
  • Transformation of linguistic research practice
  • The role of “Southern Theory” and its relation to “Northern Theory” within linguistics
  • Increasing the diversity of languages and voices within linguistics curricula
  • Challenges and opportunities for linguistics disciplinary practice.


Please RSVP by 15 November 2017 using this form and emailing it to K Riedel. We will try to accommodate participants who register later but please try to do so as early as possible.

Practical information

Getting to Bloemfontein

Bloemfontein is on the N1 and is served by several national bus routes (e.g. Greyhound, Intercape, Translux and Citibug shuttle) as well as less regular train connections. Bram Fischer International Airport is about 13 km from the UFS main campus and has several daily connections to and from Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and some other domestic destinations.

Getting around

There are a number of car rental companies with with branches at Bram Fischer Airport, in downtown Bloemfontein, and one on the UFS campus.

Taxi companies 
  • Rooikat taxis: +27 51 522 5446
  • GG taxis: +27 51 522 6969
  • Alfa taxis +27 51 433 3341
  • Mothebe shuttle service: +27 51 430 645
  • Estasi shuttle service: +27 51 430 6811;
  • Phalima shuttle service: +27 82 575 1549;
  • Executive shuttle: +27 82 568 6288
Access to UFS Bloemfontein campus

Use Gate 5 on DF Malherbe Drive. This gate allows visitor access (via the Visitors Centre next to this gate), the other gates have restrictions (also note that not all gates are open 24 hrs).

How to locate us on the UFS Bloemfontein campus:

The Department of Linguistics and Language Practice is on the first floor of the Stef Coetzee Building (Building 23). You can download a campus map here.

Accommodation options (prices are based on 2016 information)

Here is a list of places within walking distance of UFS, along with the prices and links to their websites. Other Bloemfontein options are listed here.

  • Kovsie Inn: From R660 (breakfast included). On UFS campus.
  • Palm Lodge: R750 (breakfast included). 400 meters from UFS Main Gate.
  • Anta Boga: Queen Room R1125.00 (without breakfast). Breakfast R190 per person. 5 minutes’ walk from UFS Main Gate.
  • City Lodge: R1100.90 (without breakfast) and breakfast for R135.00. 1km from UFS Main Gate.
  • Sun1: R520 (without breakfast) and breakfast for R47.50. Approx. 10 minutes’ walk from UFS Main Gate.
  • Lazy Lizard Guest House: R850 (without breakfast) and R900 (incl. breakfast). Approx. 10 minutes’ walk from UFS Main Gate.


T: +27 51 401 2240 or humanities@ufs.ac.za

Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Neliswa Emeni-Tientcheu: +27 51 401 2536
Phyllis Masilo: +27 51 401 9683

Humanities photo next to contact block

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