Linguistics – the close study of language and languages – is an indispensable foundation for all forms of knowledge. The International Congress of Linguists meets every five years to reflect the development of the field, and in 2018, for the first time, the Congress is being held in Africa. The African continent is blessed with hundreds of languages which act as local repositories of culture and interaction. South Africa itself has eleven official languages, plus Sign Language, many heritage languages, and new languages of global movements and migration.
This book of selected papers from the Congress will provide an up-to-date specialist overview of the main fields of Linguistics. The papers will broadly address the history of languages, structure, acquisition, diversity and use. At the same time due regard will be paid to the African continent in several of the papers in connection with its linguistic diversity, multilingualism and educational and societal concerns. It is therefore meant to affirm the value of the languages of Africa, of languages and Linguistics in general, as well as to inspire and equip younger scholars to undertake advanced research into language in its many facets.