Conference slides

Thank you to all participants of VLC 2023 for making the conference such an inspiring event!
The slides/handouts/presentations of those authors who agreed to make them public can be found here

A link to the book of abstracts can be found in the Programme section of this page.

Call for papers

The Comparative Oceanic Linguistics group at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme, and the Vanuatu Cultural Centre are pleased to announce the third Vanuatu Languages Conference, which will take place on July 10-13, 2023 at the Vanuatu Cultural Centre in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

The focus will be on current and emerging areas of linguistic research in Vanuatu. We welcome abstracts related to Vanuatu languages, including on the following themes:

  • Description of specific Vanuatu language features
  • Documentation of Vanuatu languages
  • Vernacular literacy and language material creation
  • The intersection of archaeology and linguistics
  • Genetics, population movement, and language change
  • Variation
  • Historical linguistic relationships
  • Language acquisition
  • Building local capacity in language documentation and revitalisation

Abstracts must be submitted by 23:59 Niue time on February 28, 2023 (this is the extended deadline) by email to VLC2023@[>>> Please remove the text! <<<] and should be no more than 300 words, excluding references and examples/figures. Files must also include the title of the presentation, a list of all authors and their affiliations, and 3-5 keywords. A maximum of two submissions with the same first author are allowed. 

Please submit abstract files in PDF format with the following file name: 

VLC-LASTNAME(first author)

If you are the first author on two abstracts, please include the index 1/2 following your last name.

Please also include the file name in the email subject field.

In connection with the conference, there will be language documentation training sessions with a focus on training native speakers of Vanuatu languages. More information to come.

Updates will be published on the conference website: 

If you have any questions, please email: VLC2023@[>>> Please remove the text! <<<]

Plenary speakers


The conference is convened by Tihomir Rangelov and Lana Takau.

Organising Committee:

  • Robert Early
  • Russell Gray
  • Tihomir Rangelov
  • Lana Takau
  • Nick Thieberger
  • Mary Walworth
  • Vanuatu Cultural Centre (VKS)
  • Mandana Seyfeddinipur



The registration deadline was June 5th, 2023.

If you wish to attend the confernce and have forgotten to register, please contact the organizers via e-mail to inquire whether more participants can be accepted at this point in time or not.


Code of Conduct

The Vanuatu Languages Conference (VLC) aims to support the open exchange of ideas and respectful scientific discussion and debate. As such, it is the responsibility of all conference participants to promote a positive and inclusive environment, whether in-person or online, that allows all presenters and atendees to learn, network and socialize with colleagues in an environment of mutual respect.

Behavioural Expectations

Conference participants should follow common sense rules for professional and personal interactions, public behaviour, and respect for the intellectual property of presenters as well as their community collaborators and language consultants (whether present or not).

Discriminatory, demeaning, harassing or threatening behaviour towards other participants, the conference organisers or volunteers is not tolerated. This includes, but is not limited to: physical or verbal intimidation and abuse; discriminatory comments or behaviour; harassment of any kind; inappropriate physical contact; unwanted sexual advances, jokes or comments; aggressive verbal confrontations; or threats of violence or disruptive behaviour.

Digital images and social media

We ask that attendees do not photograph (or take screenshots of) presenters’ slides or record talks without permission from the presenter. While discussions of topics relating to VLC talks are encouraged on social media, attendees are expected to respect any presenter requests to not share data or findings. 

Reporting unacceptable behaviour

If you experience or witness unacceptable behaviour on the occasion of the VLC conference, you can report it (anonymously if you choose) to the VLC organising committee at

Any report will be considered in strict confidence and those who make a report (if it is not anonymous) will be consulted before any action is taken. Reports are investigated by the VLC organising committee, and if a participant is deemed to have behaved inappropriately, they will be warned to stop any unwelcome behaviour, and may be excluded from the conference. This exclusion will be reported to the next organizing committee of VLC.

Vexatious complaints or willful misuse of this procedure may face the same sanction.


Each presentation (except plenaries and the featured talk) has been allocated a 25-minute slot – 15 minutes for presentation and 10 minutes for discussion.  

A PDF version of the conference programme can be downloaded from here.
The book of abstracts can be found here.


Our Scientific Committee includes the following members who have agreed to review abstracts. 

  • Carol Aru
  • Jocelyn Aznar
  • Julie Barbour
  • Rosey Billington
  • Ross Clark
  • Alex Francois
  • Mike Franjieh
  • Jens Hopperdietzel
  • Ana Krajinovic
  • Manfred Krifka
  • Catriona Malau
  • Miriam Meyerhoff
  • Elizabeth Pearce
  • Tihomir Rangelov
  • Eleanor Ridge
  • Stefan Schnell
  • Lana Takau
  • Nick Thieberger
  • Mary Walworth



The conference will be held at the campus of the National University of Vanuatu (NUV). We had to change our original plan to hold the conference at VKS because the VKS conference room was damaged by the twin cyclones in March. We regret any inconveniences this might cause.

The NUV campus is located here: There will be pointers to the exact building where the conference will be held.

Food and drink

Lunch will be provided to all presenting attendees. Morning and afternoon coffee/tea will be available for all registered attendees.

For the kava ceremony on Monday afternoon, it is highly recommended to bring your own kava shell/bowl.

The conference dinner on Tuesday night will not be covered by the organisers. The organisers have made a reservation at a Vila restaurant and all participants will pay for all of their food and drinks. Details were sent by email to those who opted in for the dinner during registration. If your plans regarding the dinner have since changed, please let us know as soon as possible.


It is highly recommended to make travel arrangements and book accommodation for Vila in advance.

Further information

Any updates will be communicated through the conference mailing list. If you chose not to subscribe to it during registration, please keep an eye on this website for updates.

Language documentation training

!! The application process for the training has now closed. Successful applicants will be notified by ELDP shortly.

In connection with the conference, ELDP & PARADISEC will jointly organise training in language documentation. Please see the description below and in the application form (link at the bottom).

The goal of the Endangered Language Documentation Programme (ELDP) is to preserve endangered languages globally. To this end we give grants worldwide to individuals to document endangered languages. 

Our key objectives are

  • to support the documentation of as many endangered languages as possible
  • to encourage fieldwork on endangered languages
  • to create a repository of resources for linguistics, social science, and the language communities
  • to make the documentary collections freely available

A key aim is to support especially community members, local teachers, students and scholars documenting the languages they speak or that are spoken in their country. To this end, ELDP provides training in language documentation and in grant writing for ELDP in the respective locations to encourage and support local documentation efforts. Therefore ELDP will offer a 4 day intensive training in Vanuatu enableing speakers, teachers, trainers, documenters, local students and scholars to to apply for ELDP funding.
The training will be held in English.

ELDP will provide a limited number of bursaries of 100 Euros each upon completion of the training.

Topics / Schedule:
Friday, July 14: Recording video with video cameras & data management
Saturday, July 15: Transcription using ELAN or using phones and data management
Monday & Tuesday, July 17-18): Project design and Grant writing for ELDP applications