Conference: ICL 20

The 20th International Congress of Linguists is to be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre between the 2nd to the 6th of July 2018. The hosts are CIPL (Comité International Permanent des Linguistes), the LSSA (Linguistics Society of Southern Africa) and UCT (the University of Cape Town).

Plenary speakers:

Nicholas Evans (Australian National University)
Rebecca Grollemund (University of Missouri)
Alamin Mazrui (Rutgers University)
Al Mtenje (University of Malawi)
Salikoko Mufwene (University of Chicago)
David Pesetsky (MIT)
Loraine Obler (CUNY)
Jef Verschuren (Antwerp University)
Jane Stuart-Smith (University of Glasgow)

Focus speakers:

Anvita Abbi (Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi)
Jan Blommaert (Tilburg University)
Andries Coetzee (University of Michigan)
Rufus Gouws (Stellenbosch University)
Elizabeth Lanza (University of Oslo)
Rosemary Moeketsi (University of South Africa)
Pieter Muysken (Radboud University)
Devyani Sharma (Queen Mary College)
Jochen Zeller (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
Paul Warren (Victoria University of Wellington)

Conference website

Call for Papers

The Local Organising Committee invites authors to submit abstracts for the 20th International Congress of Linguists.

Authors can now submit abstracts against any of the workshops or individual topics (i.e. “paper sessions”).

There will also be a poster session at the congress. The abstracts committee might redirect some paper abstracts to the poster sessions. Students still working on their PhDs are encouraged to present in this session, and to indicate in their abstracts that it is for the poster session.

Please read carefully through the Abstract Submission Criteria and Themes before your submit.


Now Open: Abstract preparation period
Now Open: Online submission
24 July 2017: Deadline for abstract submission
31 October 2017: Notification of abstract acceptance

Abstract Criteria

  • An abstract can be submitted as an individual paper (in a “paper session”) or it can be linked to a workshop
  • Abstracts should be between 200 to 350 words.
  • Abstracts should not include any images or diagrams
  • Workshops may be cancelled, merged, or shortened if insufficient abstracts are received and accepted in the specific workshop.
  • Generally, it is expected that delegates would not present more than one single-authored paper in the conference.
  • Exceptions will be made in the case of papers with multiple authorships, invitations to make an additional presentation at a workshop by a workshop convenor, or senior scholars making an additional presentation with a junior colleague or student.
  • There will be a poster session at the conference. Students still working on their PhDs are encouraged to present in this session. The Programme Committee might re-direct some paper (oral) abstracts to the poster session.

Submission Guidelines

Abstracts can now be submitted through the online submission portal.
Authors will be required to create a user account to be able to proceed to submission.
It is possible to create and save a draft of the abstract and then return later to submit.
Please note that after submission, no changes can be made.

Heading: Please do not type all letters of the heading in capital letters. Please use sentence case.
Abstract Text: You can prepare your text in MS Word and cut and paste into the text box, or you can type directly in the abstract text box.
Paragraph breaks: Please use paragraph breaks where necessary.

Please submit your abstract now.

Abstract Themes

Individual Presentation (“Paper sessions”):

Historical Linguistics
Language Contact
Sociolinguistics of Variation and Change
Morphology and Syntax (includes a Typology stream)
Phonetics and Phonology
Semantics and Pragmatics (includes a Lexicography stream)
Multilingualism, Education, Policy and Development
Migration, Globalisation and Language
General Topics