Conference: Language Analysis in the Determination of National Origin of Refugees

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Wed May 16 14:07:04 UTC 2007

Language Analysis in the Determination of National Origin of Refugees

Date: 21-Jun-2007 - 21-Jun-2007
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Contact: Carolien van den Hazelkamp
Contact Email:

Meeting Description:

In June 2007 the /Joint Summer Meeting 2007 of the Society of Pidgin and
Creole Linguistics and the Associação de Crioulos de Base Lexical Portugesa
e Espanhola will take place at the University of Amsterdam. On June 21 the
Organizing Committee in cooperation with the Taalstudio is organizing a
post conference workshop on Language Analysis in the determination of
national origin of refugees.

Language analysis is used in several countries as an instrument to
investigate the country of origin of refugees. In a language analysis the
country (or region) of origin is established on the basis of (dialectal)
characteristics of the asylum seeker's speech. At the 2003 Summer
Conference of the Society for Pidgin and Creole Languages, a special
session was organized about this use of language analysis in assessing
asylum applications by speakers of pidgin and creole languages. This
session provided a basis for the development of professional standards:
/Guidelines for the Use of Language Analysis in Relation to Questions of
National Origin in Refugee Cases/ (Language and National Origin Group, June
2004). The guidelines provide a useful framework for this new field, in
which a lot of research still remains to be done.

The workshop contains presentations on a variety of topics related to this
use of language analysis, and next to that there will be room for
discussion and expertise-sharing.

9:00-9:30 Coffee and Opening

9:30-10:00 T. McNamara (University of Melbourne)
Language analysis: A question of validity

10:00-10:30 Y. E-rramdani (University of Tilburg)
Language analysis test and the determination of origin:Commenting validity

10:30-11:00 V.A. de Rooij (University of Amsterdam)
(Im)Possibilities of language analysis as a means of establishing the
nationality of asylum seekers

11:00-11:30 Coffee break

11:30-12:00 T. Cambier-Langeveld & A. Samson (Office for Country Information
Language Analysis GCKAO, Immigration and Naturalization Service (the
Language analysis: how to include both linguistic expertise and native
competence, and why

12:00-12:30 I. Sawicka (Institute of the Slavic Philology)
Recognizing language by phonetic information

12:30-12:50 Discussion

12:50-13:50 Lunch

13:50-14:20 E.M. Bergman (Georgetown University)
Spoken Arabic and the Language Analyst

14:20-14:50 R. Thelwall (University of Calgary)
The Argument from Silence? Diglossia and the identification of Sudan Arabic

14:50-15:20 Shishir Bhattacharja (University of Montreal)
Outlines of Forensic linguistic analysis for determining national origin

15:20-15:40 Coffee break

15:40-16:10 J. Ndayiragije (University of Toronto)
Language Analysis and Microvariation: A Case Study in Bantu Relatives

16:10-16:40 M.A. Bah (University of Charleston)
The problems of language determination and citizenship among ethnic groups
spread across national political boundaries: the case of Pular and Fulbe in
Mano river tri- states of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea

16:40-17:00 Discussion

17:00 Drinks


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