At the Business Meeting of the Calavi 2015 WALC, the University of Benin-Nigeria and the University of Education Winneba (UEW) in Ghana bade to host 2017 WALC. After due consideration, the bid went to the University of Education Winneba.

I am glad to inform all members of WALS that the Secretariat is now in possession of the Letter of Commitment to Host the 2017 WALC from the Vice Chancellor UEW. I can now confirm to all members of the WALS that our biannual academic feast will be hosted by the UEW in Ghana.

I promise to keep all members of WALS posted as we prepare for the Winneba 2017 WALC.



The next ALS will be held July 18th-July 29th 2016, in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

The African Linguistics School (ALS) is a two-week institute which brings the latest work in core areas of linguistics to students from African universities. The areas of focus are syntax, semantics, phonology, sociolinguistics and phonetic fieldwork. Interested students and young academics can click the following link for more details on how to apply for ALS 2016.

Empowering Today’s Scholars for Africa’s Tomorrow

The new JWAL Editorial Team and the Inside Cover of the freshly published JWAL Volume 42.1


47th Annual Conference on African Linguistics (ACAL 47)

Members of WALS are kindly requested to download the call for papers of ACAL 47 below and circulate same to members. Also check: 

Call for papers.ACAL47


All the papers presented at WALC 2015 will be assessed by a team of experts. The outstanding papers will be published in the 2015 WALC Proceedings.

Authors of selected papers will be notified not later than September 16th 2015. Some of these papers will be accommodated by the Journal of West African Languages (JWAL)

The LOC may require a token for Paper Assessment.


Volume 37 (2010) of the Journal of West African Languages is now available online. Click here to view the articles.

Richard Gravina
JWAL Business Manager

Death of Andre Wilson

The Secretariat of WALS has just been informed about the death of Andre Wilson. He died on 23rd March 2015 in Tunbridge Wells (Kent), after a short illness (aged 88). His funeral took place on the 2nd April at St John’s Church, Tunbridge Wells. He is survived by his wife, Yvonne, his two daughters, Suzanne and Klair, and his four grandchildren, Alexandra, Gemma, Chyenne and Rio.



Members of the West African Linguistic Society (WALS) and participants in the 2015 West African Languages Congress (WALC) are requested to send the Abstracts of the papers which they intend to present at the 2015 WALC to: The Abstract should be between 200 and 250 words. The deadline for Abstract submissions is May 15th, 2015.


All our thanks and our very best wishes go to Keir Hansford, who is retiring after serving for sixteen years as editor of the journal. During his time in charge, he has brought around 200 articles to publication. Some were from established scholars, and others were from new and emerging linguists, whom Keir was particulary keen to develop and encourage.

In the Editorial Note to his final issue of JWAL, Keir included the following expression thanks:

‘It has been a privilege to be the Editor, and despite some hard work at times, and also taking on the task of typesetting in recent years, it has been a joy to serve, and especially to help those struggling to write an acceptable article, especially newcomers, to improve and be published.

I wish to record my thanks to Rhonda Hartell and later Dr Steve Pillinger for past help as Associate Editor/Typesetter. I also wish to acknowledge the professionalism and speed with which Cushing Malloy lithographers of Anne Arbor USA, have printed each issue since before I became Editor and later distributed the copies of issues and offprints. Thanks also to Terri Scruggs then Eddie Coates and latterly to Candice Underwood as Subscriptions Manager, and years ago Marietta Weber for help in distributing issues.

I will continue to take an interest as Consulting Editor, and try to finish the editing of those articles that I received.

JWAL is a Free, Open-Access Journal
The Journal of West African Languages is now a Free, Open-access, Online Journal. From 2015, all issues of the journal will be published on this website, and will be immediately accessible to linguists the world over, without the need to register or subscribe. Articles from the most recent volumes will be added to the website over the next few months. If you would like to receive email announcements when issues of the journal are released, then please send an email to

Past articles
We are pleased to announce that articles from volumes 30, 31 and 32 are now available for free download. Click on the Downloads tab and follow the links, or use the Search Downloads option to find articles on specific languages or language families, on a particular topic, or by author.

New contributor guidelines
Contributors are asked to note that the formatting requirements for papers have changed. See the Contributor page for more details.

The Journal
The purpose of the Journal of West African Languages is to publish articles of good quality and interest in all aspects of language and linguistics that are relevant to the area of West Africa, which may be defined as Sub-Saharan Africa, extending into Central Africa. The Journal was founded in 1964 by the West African Linguistic Society, and has been in publication ever since, with gaps in 1972-73 and 1977-81.

The editorial board comprises:
Philip Ngessimo Mutaka (Acting Editor), Keir Hansfor (Consulting Editor), Beban S. Chumbow, H Ekkehard Wolff and Felix K. Ameka.

As posted on the JWAL website.

WALC 2015


The next West African Linguistics Congress (WALC 2015) has tentatively been scheduled to take place between August 11th-16th, 2015 in Abomey-Calavi, Republic of Benin, with Prof Flaviene. Gbeto as Chairman, Local Organisation Committee.

French version:

La prochaine session de la Société de Linguistique de l´Afrique de l´Ouest (SLAO) – fondée par Greenberg/Houis- à Cotonou en Aout 11-16 2015 (sous la direction du Prof. F. Gbeto).

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