Call for Papers

The call has ended: it is no longer possible to submit abstracts.

Different theories and models attribute linguistic variation and change to different causes. Currently, significant tension exists between approaches that explain variation and change in terms of a parametric approach to the structure of grammar and the language learner’s interaction with primary linguistic data, and approaches that instead derive variation and change from usage effects and the social embedding of language. The two-day long symposium is devoted to addressing this tension in an effort to arrive at a better understanding of the status quo of research on language variation and change, and to outline the most fruitful ways forward towards formal models that make quantitative, empirically testable predictions.

Abstract submission

Abstracts are invited for both oral (20 minutes, plus 10 minutes for discussion) and poster presentations. Questions to be addressed may include, but are not limited to:

What role do abstract representations play in language change? How do acquisition and usage interact to produce patterns of variation and change? How can acquisition and usage effects be detected in diachronic data? What role do frequency effects play in language change? What is the basic replicator in the cultural evolution of language? How can social network theory inform models of linguistic variation and change? What is the effect of individual lifespan change on variation and change on the level of the speech community? How can current mathematical and computational models of variation and change be scaled up towards more linguistic and sociological realism? Is a unified approach to language change, incorporating both a theory of representations and a theory of usage, necessary to fully explain variation and change? Is such an approach possible, in principle?

Both theoretical/computational and empirical contributions are welcome, as is work in progress. Abstracts must be anonymous, in PDF format and a maximum of 2 A4 pages in length (1 page text, 1 page figures, examples and references). Submissions are peer-reviewed (double blind) by an international panel of experts.