Zurich Workshop on Afrikaans Linguistics Theory and Structure (5-6 October 2020)

Zurich Workshop on Afrikaans Linguistics Theory and Structure (4-5 October 2021)

Small languages, big ideas (Zürich, 4-5 April 2019)

News on the COVID19 situation

The workshop will take place as a hybrid (online + face to face) event.


Due to the ongoing travel uncertainties, the Zürich Workshop on Afrikaans Linguistics can also be joined online for the attendees who find themselves incapable of travelling to Zürich in October. We will update this website with more information on the technical side soon. Taking this new information into account, we have extended the abstract deadline to July 1st 2021. If you have any questions in the mean time, please contact Chris De Wulf

We will do our best to make it a good experience with fruitful exchanges, both for the attendees in Zürich and those joining us online.


Small languages, big ideas (Zürich, 4-5 April 2019)

General information

In October 2021, Zurich university organises a workshop on the linguistics of Afrikaans that will conclude an entire year devoted to this interesting language, which will feature linguistic seminars as well as language courses. It is the first event ever in Zurich solely dedicated to Afrikaans linguistics.


With over seven million native speakers, predominantly in southern Africa, Afrikaans is the fifth largest Germanic language. Although important work has been done regarding the history and the social and political aspects of Afrikaans, the study of its structure is still relatively uncharted territory especially compared to that of related languages.


This workshop aims to show that Afrikaans lends itself to interesting insights for theoretical linguistics and to bring together experts from southern Africa, the Low Countries and elsewhere in front of a Zurich audience.


Four plenary talks will be held by experts on Afrikaans and its theoretical implications. A further set of workshop sessions will be available for more contributions (see Call for Papers below). The workshop will be concluded by a round table session. Our plenary speakers are:

  • Jenny Audring (Leiden University)
  • Theresa Biberauer (University of Cambridge)
  • Andries Coetzee (University of Michigan)
  • Timothy Colleman (Ghent University)


To allow for people from all backgrounds to be introduced to the merit of Afrikaans as a subject for linguistic theory, the working language will be English.



The programme encompasses two days with plenary talks, open call contributions and a round table discussion at the end of the second day. The round table panel consist of the invited speakers and will link the previous sessions and establish common grounds and discuss insights on the structure of Afrikaans and theoretical linguistics.


The workshop can be attended in Zürich, but it will also be possible to attend via Zoom for those who are incapable of traveling to Zürich. In that case you will receive the login details a few days before the congress, if you have registered to attend.

Small languages, big ideas (Zürich, 4-5 April 2019)

Call for Papers


We welcome proposals for 20-minute presentations that discuss research on an aspect of the structure of the Afrikaans language, connecting it to general or theoretical linguistics, be it from a synchronic or diachronic perspective. After each 20-minute presentation, there will be 10 minutes allotted to questions and discussion.


Presenters who attend the workshop via Zoom will be able to choose to hold their talk live via Zoom, or send in a video of their presentation and only hold the Q&A part live. This option might suit people who have a less then ideal internet connection.



Send in your abstract (maximum of 500–2000 characters, including spaces and interpunction, but not counting bibliography) as a PDF document via the registration form on our congress website (see Registering below).

The deadline for sending in your abstracts is July 1st, 2021. You can also register to attend the congress without presenting (see Registering).


Selection procedure

The criteria for selecting the presentations for the open call sessions are:

1. fit to the theme and quality of the abstract,

2. gender and diversity balance.


You will be notified whether your presentation has been accepted by the end of July, 2021.


Further practical information

The workshop organisation does not offer any reimbursement of expenses for travel or hotels. However, the workshop is free of charge to encourage as many people as possible to attend, including those who will not be active participants. We do offer a luncheon and conference dinner on the second day to all active participants who are present in Zürich, as well as a reception (‘Apéro riche’) as a chance to mingle on the first day to all fysically present attendees, active or not. It is therefore important to register (both active participants and other attendees), to ensure comestibles and seating facilities.


Zoom participants will also be able to socialise with the Zürich attendees during the coffee breaks and reception via a system of mobile Zoom drones.


Attendants who are relying on documentation to apply for funding at their own institution, can ask the workshop organisers for a confirmation of their attendance or of the acceptance of their abstracts, as the case may be.

Small languages, big ideas (Zürich, 4-5 April 2019)

Provisional Programme

Location: RAA-G-15, Rämistrasse 59, 8001 Zürich (to be confirmed)


DAY 1: Monday, October 4th 2021


13:30 Arrival and coffee

14:00 Opening and welcome word by the workshop organisers

14:15 Keynote: Theresa Biberauer (title to be announced)

15:00 Open call sessions

16:30 Coffee break

17:00 Keynote: Andries Coetzee (title to be announced)

17:45 Preliminary final words of the day

18:15 Reception


DAY 2: Tuesday, October 5th 2021


08:45 Arrival with coffee

09:15 Keynote: Timothy Colleman (title to be announced)

10:00 Coffee break

10:30 Open call sessions

12:00 Lunch break

13:45 Open call sessions

15:15 Keynote: Jenny Audring (title to be announced)

16:00 Coffee break

16:30 Round table discussion

17:30 Conclusions and closing words

18:15 Dinner with active participants


Small languages, big ideas (Zürich, 4-5 April 2019)


Registration options

You can register to attend the workshop as a member of the audience or send in an abstract. In that case, you can choose to immediately register to attend at this point in time, or to await acceptance of your abstract before registering.

* required

If you want to send in an abstract (500-2000 characters), upload it here as a PDF document before hitting 'send'
Small languages, big ideas (Zürich, 4-5 April 2019)

Getting around in Zürich

To find the best means of public transport for your trips within the city of Zürich, click here to open the online timetable of the Zürich public transport provider. Fill in your current location in field A (“from”), and your destination in field B (“to”). Both A and B can be either the names of public transport stops or street addresses. Then press “search connections” and choose one. 

Small languages, big ideas (Zürich, 4-5 April 2019)

Arrival from the airport

Map Airport

To travel to the city center from the airport, there are different options, that are all included if you buy a ticket that is valid in zones 110+121 of the Zürich metropolitan area.


Leave the airport building at level 1 (ground level), see map above.

Tram line 10 runs every 7,5 or 15 minutes directly from the airport to Zürich's main train station Hauptbahnhof in the city center via Glattpark, Oerlikon and Irchel.

Tram line 12 runs every 15 minutes from the airport to Stettbach station, providing additional connections to the airport region and other parts of the city.


Go to level 02 (underground), see map above.

S2 (platform 1) and S16 (platform 3) run directly from the airport to Zurich's main train station Hauptbahnhof in the city center via Oerlikon. For more information and the timetable click here.

Small languages, big ideas (Zürich, 4-5 April 2019)

​​​​​​​Getting to the conference

To reach the conference venue from downtown Zürich you can take several tram lines or walk up. Please consult this google map for the locations of public transport stops near your hotel or the station and the conference venue. It is located at Rämistrasse 59, 8001 Zürich. The workshop will take place in auditorium RAA-G-15. The auditorium is wheelchair accessible. We advise, however, to get in touch with the organisers beforehand if you have a physical disability, so we can provide the necessary assistance. 

You can check out the facilities in the auditorium (in German):


Small languages, big ideas (Zürich, 4-5 April 2019)


Small languages, big ideas (Zürich, 4-5 April 2019)