Last week, I had the joy of participating in the Bantu 8 conference, organised by the good people (Nancy Kula, Hannah Gibson, and Kyle Jerro) at the University of Essex. The conference had been scheduled for June of 2020 and, for obvious reasons, was postponed and then held virtually. Since I’ve been on family leave, this was my first virtual conference, and the organisers and participants really made it something special and exciting – and I had been bracing myself for something rather less so.
In addition to enjoying, learning from, and being challenged by the many wonderful talks, I gave a presentation called Modal systems in South African Bantu languages: A comparative survey and co-presented a poster on Penultimate lengthening in isiNdebele (South Africa) (our paper on the same topic is coming out soon; more on that later!). Most of the talks are available in some form via the conference’s OSF platform, and they are worth checking out. I feel so lucky to be part of a field with so many brilliant, generous, and kind people.