Conference: CLS 52

The 52nd Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society will be held on 21-23 April 2016 at the University of Chicago.

The Chicago Linguistic Society invites abstracts in any area of current research on the human language faculty, to include phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, historical linguistics, and sociolinguistics, as well as allied fields in the cognitive and social sciences. Accepted participants will be allotted 20 minutes to present and 10 minutes to answer questions. We particularly encourage submissions relevant to this year’s proposed special topics, detailed below.

Edith Aldridge – University of Washington
Hans Boas – The University of Texas at Austin
Caroline Heycock – The University of Edinburgh
Andrew Nevins – University College London
Henriette de Swart – Universiteit Utrecht
Sarah Thomason – University of Michigan
Ming Xiang – The University of Chicago



Theoretical Approaches to Negation and Polarity
Despite its prominence as a universal property of natural language, negation remains poorly characterized and many of its logical, pragmatic, syntactic, and semantic features are controversial. We invite submissions addressing any aspect of negation and polarity, including: (a) the nature and formal characterization
of polarity items, negative quantifiers, and n-words; (b) the status of expletive negation; and (c) the relation between negative concord and double negation. Submissions that focus on the interactions between domains of grammar (e.g., syntax/semantics, prosody/semantics) as they relate to the aforementioned phenomena are especially welcome.

Language Endangerment: Causes and Interventions
The study of language endangerment lies at the intersection of numerous areas of research, including (but not limited to): language policy, language attitudes and ideology, and language shift. We welcome all submissions that explore the root causes of endangerment, as well as those that attend to the methodologies of documentation and revitalization. We are also interested in submissions that evaluate how best to treat data from endangered languages in established theoretical frameworks.

Language Change
Knowledge of how languages have changed over time can contribute much to our understanding of synchronic systems. We therefore urge submissions grounded in a diachronic perspective, which may include linguistic reconstruction, methods in modeling change, historical linguistics, linguistic typology, sociolinguistic approaches to change, language variation, and language contact. Submissions that engage new methodologies of reconstruction, or the reconstruction of understudied languages and families, are especially encouraged.

Features and Metafeatures
Formal linguists from a variety of subfields have long endeavored to decompose grammatical categories into atomic, context-free features. The features that characterize categories such as person, number, and gender appear to exhibit ‘metafeatures’:
they may be binary or privative in their valence; marked or unmarked in their values; dominant or dominated in their positions within hierarchies; recursive or nonrecursive in their application. Certain categories appear to resist degradation into abstract primitives, to include noun classes, social deixis, and perhaps case. We wish to attract submissions that examine: (a) the architecture of morphosyntactic (meta)features (e.g., filters, geometries, valencies); (b) the limits of featural reductionism; and (c) the syntactic, semantic, and/or cognitive consequences of particular feature systems.

Abstracts will be evaluated by both external and internal reviewers. Submissions that fail to comply with any of the following guidelines will be automatically rejected. (1) Submit abstracts in PDF format with the filename PaperTitle.pdf.
(2) Include the paper title and keywords (i.e., CLS session title, linguistic subfield(s), language(s)/language family) within the abstract. (3) Limit abstracts to two letter-sized or A4 pages in length, inclusive of data and references. Use one-inch margins and a font size no smaller than 11 points. Incorporate data into the main text of the abstract, not on a separate page.
(4) Anonymize submissions by not including author name(s) in the abstract or filename. If necessary, remove author name(s) from the document properties of the PDF file. (5) Use the EasyChair platform (
for the submission of abstracts. (6) Restrict submissions to one individual and one joint abstract per author, or two joint
abstracts per author.

Extended submission deadline: January 10, 2016, by 11:59 PM CST
Notification: February 23, 2016
Conference dates: April 21–23, 2016
Please write to for general inquiries. Abstract submission
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