2023 Meeting Minutes

Minutes of 2023 Business Meeting

(Held in person at the University of Connecticut, June 14, 2023 with 38 people in attendance, and lasting approximately 55 minutes.)

ACAL President Laura Downing opened the meeting, profusely thanking Vicki Carstens and her team for hosting ACAL on fairly short notice. After two years of virtual meetings, “It’s good to be back in person!”


Each year we elect a new Executive Committee (EC) member, to serve for three years. Laura Downing emphasized that an EC member should be a regular attendee at ACAL and should answer emails promptly! We thanked Katie Franich, stepping down this year, for her service on the Committee! Jenneke van der Wal was nominated to serve as EC member, elected with close to 100% of attendees voting.

Laura Downing’s term as President ends in 2024, with James Essegbey, currently Vice President, becoming President. We will thus be electing a new Vice President next year; nominations can be sent Laura Downing ahead of time.

Future conference locations

We are grateful to have future hosts lined up for the next few years, unlike the usual situation in recent years. We do thank the following for their part in keeping ACAL running smoothly. The 2024 ACAL will be held at McGill University (Montreal) 2-4 May, with abstracts due in early to mid-September, under the leadership of Martina Martinovic. The 2025 ACAL will be at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities under Claire Halpert and Ettien Koffi. In 2026 ACAL will be at the University of Buffalo (under Jeff Good, with Matt Faytak), with Syracuse (Chris Green), and the University of Rochester (Nadine Grimm, Scott Grimm, and Asia Pietraszko) all collaborating in the planning.

Proceedings volumes

The ACAL 49 papers from Michigan State University are now published on the Language Science Press site! (ACAL 50 papers were previously published.)

For ACAL 51-52 Proceedings (University of Florida), James Essegbey reported that they currently have 18 papers ready. Half of the papers were submitted in LaTeX. Michael Diercks got a student assistant for the summer to do the remainder of conversions. They hope to have their Proceedings done by next year.

For the ACAL 53 Proceedings, Sharon Rose reported that of the 28 papers submitted, 7 were either rejected or withdrawn, with 21 expected to be published. Of these, 7 are in final version, 13 are being finally checked, and one has not yet been resubmitted following reviews. 14 papers were submitted in LaTeX, and 7 papers were submitted in Word and need to be converted to LaTeX. With editing, formatting, and submission to Language Science Press, their goal is to have this volume out by the next ACAL meeting.

For ACAL 54 (University of Connecticut) there is no call for submissions yet, but it will come, including instructions and page count. It was noted that the call for submissions usually comes within 2 1/2 months of the conference.

We do thank the LaTeX Committee again for developing tools for authors which they must use in preparing their submissions.

Mike Marlo notes that Language Science Press’ Contemporary African Linguistics (CAL) series publishes monographs and edited volumes, besides ACAL Proceedings. People are welcome to submit monograph-length works, even dissertations (which will be reviewed…). A principle for suitability: consider for the broader CAL if there isn’t already another series that’s a better fit (e.g. African Grammars and Dictionaries).

Discussion from floor on funding and visas

The question was raised about funding for those from Africa to come, since the cost is challenging. The possibility of attending by Zoom was raised, though it raises costs for the host university. (Vicki Carstens said that running ACAL as a hybrid conference on Zoom would add thousands of dollars to their university budget.) The ACAL as an organization is doing OK financially (see Financial Report below), but doesn’t have lots of money. Could we do a fundraiser such as GoFundMe? This is only for one individual at a time. We will take this issue to the EC for further discussion.

A related concern is for visas for the USA and Canada. The current Kenya backlog for visas is about a year. Thus, the earlier the deadline for ACAL submissions and acceptance the better. We can’t do this deadline now, since ACAL 55 is less than a year away. In the future, would there be a possibility of an early submission date for Africans?

Matthew Faytak suggested that ACAL have a standing committee for Resources, like we do for LaTeX.  Michael Diercks suggested that such a Committee would decide and define issues.  Matthew volunteered to head it. When we send out the Minutes, we can ask for volunteers who have a commitment to ACAL and this issue and respond well to email.

An African participant asked if he could have a letter or certificate of participation to show their funders. Answer: write to Vicki, who will be happy to send it.

Thanks to Sharon Rose, our ACAL Treasurer, for her report below. At this point, we have a healthy surplus. Some possibilities for using ACAL funds are: the EC could look into a better website, with smoother financial options than the current PayPal, and possibly help to pay registration fees from African countries. ACAL participants are encouraged to write President Laura Downing for any other ideas.

Respectfully submitted,

Mike Cahill, ACAL Secretary

2022-23 ACAL Financial Report – June 14, 2023

Sharon Rose, Treasurer

Carry forward (August 31, 2021)                            $15073.01


1 lifetime membership x $400                       $  400.00
34 x $25 memberships                                         850.00
40 x $15 memberships                                        600.00
Amazon Smile                                                         29.38

Total revenue 2020-21                                         -$2275.93

Statement of Information (State of CA)         $  25.00
PayPal charges                                                      130.31
African Linguistics School                                3000.00
Conference payment (to UCSD)                      1000.00
Total                        4155.31

Balance (August 31, 2022)                                    $12797.08

Sept. 1, 2022-June 12, 2023 – Summary for this year                   

2 lifetime memberships x $400                    $800.00
26 x $25 memberships                                       650.00
50 x $15 memberships                                       750.00
Amazon Smile                                                        40.75
Total                                                               $2240.75

LinguistList for web hosting (back pay)        1200.00
LinguistList for web hosting (annual)              600.00
PayPal charges                                                       93.16
Total expenses                                               $1953.16

Total revenue (2022-23)                                      $ 287.59

Balance as of June 12, 2023                           $13 084.67

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