Conference: CLS 53

The Chicago Linguistic Society is the oldest student-run linguistics organization in the United States. Our linguistics conference has been held every year since 1965. This academic year, CLS will host its 53rd annual meeting, which will be held from Thursday, May 25, to Saturday, May 27, 2017.

Conference website:

Invited Speakers

Call for papers

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. We particularly encourage submissions relevant to this year’s proposed special topics, detailed below.

Presenters will be given 20 minutes for presentation followed by a 10-minute question period. Presented papers will be published in the CLS proceedings.

Special Topics:

Computational/Mathematical Linguistics

The closely related fields of computational and mathematical linguistics seek to bring the formal tools of computer science and mathematics into the realm of language. Such tools enable researchers in these fields to abstract away from framework-specific analyses, and hone in on the underlying patterns seen throughout natural language. While these fields are not often associated with modern theoretical linguistics, we invite abstracts specifically pertaining to the computational/mathematical properties of language in any linguistic subfield (e.g. morphology), as we believe these properties have much to inform theory.

Cross-linguistic Quantification

The semantics of the English quantificational system has been analyzed in great detail in a number of different theoretical frameworks. Non-English languages, however, use a wide range of strategies to express quantificational meaning, with markedly different syntax, morphology, and compositional semantics from their English counterparts. Relevant issues in the cross-linguistic analysis of quantification include but are not limited to (a) the scopal behavior of quantifiers; (b) the interaction of quantification with negation, genericity, and other phenomena; and (c) distributivity and cumulativity. We particularly welcome submissions to do with the analysis of quantification in non-English languages, with special interest in non-Indo-European languages.

East Asian Linguistics

East Asian languages have continued to offer unique opportunities for shaping theories in generative grammar initially developed primarily on Western languages. For this reason, we especially welcome submissions which present formal analysis on any synchronic aspect of the syntax, morphology, semantics, pragmatics, and phonology of an East Asian language. Both theoretical and experimental works are welcome, provided that they have implications for linguistic theory.

Intonation and Prosody

The study of how speech sounds relate to one another beyond the segmental level informs us about not only the architecture of sound structures, but also how phonology relates to the other aspects of grammar, and how this plays out in the production and perception of language. We invite submissions that examine various aspects of intonation and prosody, including but not limited to (a) language-specific intonational phonologies; (b) phonetic and phonological correlates of intonation and prosody; (c) the interface between prosody and syntax, semantics, and pragmatics; and (d) the effect of prosody on language processing. We welcome both experimental and theoretical approaches, as well as data from a variety of languages.

Sign Language Linguistics

Sign language linguistics provides a unique means of exploring cross-modal effects on linguistic systems, iconicity, and language emergence. We invite submissions that pertain to sign-specific issues and those that contribute to any linguistic subfields or their interfaces. Cross-linguistic research is especially welcome as well as interdisciplinary papers in neighboring fields, including psychology and cognitive science.

Abstract Guidelines

So that we may evaluate all submissions in a fair and equal manner, abstracts which fail to adhere to any of the following guidelines will be automatically rejected. Abstracts will be evaluated under a two-tiered system involving both external and internal reviewers.

  1. Submit your abstract(s) in PDF format with filename PaperTitle.pdf (e.g. Prosodic_Form_and_Discourse_Function.pdf).
  2. Include paper title and keywords (i.e., CLS session title, linguistic subfield(s), language(s)/ language family) in 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 point. 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.

Important Dates:

  • Submission deadline: February 5, 2017 by 11:59 PM CST February 12, 2017 by 11:59 PM CST
  • Notification: March 24, 2017
  • Conference dates: May 25-27, 2017

For questions, please contact us at: