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(August 2009) Eighteen SIL linguists presented papers 17–21 August at the 6th World Congress of African Linguistics (WOCAL) in Cologne, Germany. The theme of WOCAL 6 was "African Linguistics for Understanding and Progress." One SIL linguist addressed the special forum on African sign languages.
Approximately 290 presentations covered all the main areas of African linguistic research and all the main regions of the African continent. Nearly six hundred scholars from more than fifty countries attended WOCAL 6, which was organized by the Institute for African Studies at the University of Cologne.
WOCAL is the world's largest congress series in the field of African linguistics. It takes place every three years, hosted alternately by African universities and by universities on other continents. WOCAL was founded in 1994 in Southern Africa to overcome the scientific isolation of linguists from South Africa caused by the academic boycott of the Apartheid regime.