The 2019 Linguistics Association of Ghana (LAG) Conference Has been Held at UMaT

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A Group Picture of Participants and Dignitaries
A Group Picture of Participants and Dignitaries

The 2019 Conference of the Linguistics Association of Ghana has been held at the University of Mines and Technology Tarkwa on the theme “African Language and Literature in a Digital Age”. This is the 12th Conference in the series. LAG is an association for language researchers and scholars from Ghanaian tertiary institutions who are looking to build their professional skills and stay up to date on new trends and best practices.

In a welcome address, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Mines and Technology, Prof J. S. Y. Kuma said the theme for the conference was very apt as linguistics in the educational curricula could not be downplayed. According to him, linguistics which is the study of languages was of essence as it helped to convey origins of words and languages, their historical applications, and their modern-day relevance.

Prof Kuma thinks that today’s generation should not loose sight of the dangers posed by technology in relation to language despite its benefits. He emphasised that “the digital age has created new avenues for language use and innovative channels of communication. With this ever-changing age, it is necessary that the foundation of our African languages were not eroded by the advent of Technology”.

Prof Kuma Delivering His Speech
Prof Kuma Delivering His Speech

He further said “We need to understand the problems posed and opportunities created by the dissemination of language in the digital space. Linguistic diversity keeps on growing and the body of knowledge keeps changing”. The Vice Chancellor challenged the state to formulate and implement policies and programs towards the development of Ghanaian languages and cultures to benefit the country.

Prof Kuma expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the Executives of the Linguistic Association of Ghana led by the President, Dr Jemima Asabea Anderson for the good organisation of the Conference and called on the participants to take advantage of the conference to help them obtain the required knowledge necessary to improve language use in Africa. He also paid glowing tribute to the Local Organising Committee which was chaired by Associate Prof Mrs Patricia Beatrice Mireku-Gyimah, the Dean for International Programmes of UMaT.

Prof Mathieson Delivering the Keynote Address
Prof Mathieson Delivering the Keynote Address

On his part, the Key Note Speaker for the conference, Prof Christian M. I. M. Mathieson said grammar was only part of language which helps to better appreciate words put together. He believed that the theory of grammar should empower all individuals to observe, analyse and describe as much of grammar as possible. Prof Mathieson said languages spoken in Africa had been important to the study of systematic functions as it was more gratifying.   

The Conference had 102 participants who came from Ghana, Hong Kong, the USA and Nigeria. Also present at the Opening Ceremony were the Pro Vice Chancellor, Associate Prof Victor A. Temeng and the Foundation Vice Chancellor of UMaT, Professor Daniel Mireku-Gyimah.

 

Source: Paul Y. A. Yeboah, Head, University Relations Office

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