Conference: MFM 27

The 27th Manchester Phonology Meeting (27mfm) will be held on Thursday 23rd – Saturday 25th May 2019.

The mfm is the UK’s annual phonology conference, with an international set of organisers. It is held in late May every year in Manchester (central in the UK, and with excellent international transport connections). The meeting has become a key conference for phonologists from all over the world, where anyone who declares themselves to be interested in phonology can submit an abstract on anything phonological in any phonological framework. In an informal atmosphere, we discuss a broad range of topics, including the phonological description of languages, issues in phonological theory, aspects of phonological acquisition and implications of phonological change.

Conference website:

Call for papers

There is no obligatory conference theme for the 27mfm – abstracts can be submitted on anything phonological.

  • Abstracts should be uploaded to the 27mfm’s page on the the Linguist List’s EasyAbstracts site by or on 28th January 2019. The precise deadline, as implemented by EasyAbstracts, is as follows: 11.59pm US Eastern Standard Time on 28th January.
  • The website for uploading abstracts is here:
  • Please submit your abstract in pdf format, with fonts embedded (if necessary, we can accept Word files, but please send pdf if possible).
  • Abstracts should be no longer than one side of A4 (or ‘American letter’), with 2.5cm or one inch margins, single-spaced, with a font size no smaller than 12, and with normal character spacing. All examples and references in the abstract should be included on the one single page, but it is enough, when referring to previous work, to cite “Author (Date)” in the body of the abstract – you do not need to give the full reference at the end of the abstract. Please DO NOT submit an abstract if it goes over one page for any reason – it will be rejected. Remember also that, if you abstract is accepted, you will need to submit a version with your name and email address, and this will still need to only take up one page – please bear this in mind and leave space for this when finalising your abstract.
  • Your abstract should be anonymous. You will be asked to submit a version with your name and affiliation on it if your abstract is selected for presentation. Please make sure that you do not use your name in the filename for your abstract, and please erase any details which might identify you in the file that you submit.
  • If you need to use a phonetic font in your abstract, please either embed it in a pdf file, or use the Doulos SIL font, which can be downloaded for free from this site:
  • You may opt to present your work either as a talk or a poster or as a poster only. These are the only two categories available. The category ‘either talk or poster’ is the default, and if you opt for this we will assume that you would rather present your work as a talk – we will award a talk slot to the abstracts in this category which we judge likely to offer the best programme. The poster sessions hves always been a great success at mfms and we give them a high profile. Some work is best presented as a poster, so you may specify that you would only like to be considered for a poster.
  • No-one may submit more than one single-authored abstract, as this allows more people to take part in the conference. You may submit one single-authored abstract and one jointly-authored abstract (or two jointly-authored abstracts), but it is unlikely that anyone will be offered two opportunities to speak.
  • If you need any technical equipment for a talk, you will need to let the organisers know if your abstract is selected for presentation. We will do our best to provide it, but this cannot be guaranteed. We expect to provide data projection facilities, but there will be no technical support for this.

All abstracts will be reviewed anonymously by four members of the organising committee and advisory board. You can read about the abstract selection process here. If you cannot send your abstract in the way set out above, for whatever reason, please email and we’ll arrange another way of abstract submission.

If you would like to see which kinds of abstracts have been successful in the past, you could consult last year’s abstract booklet, available here. Short abstracts are rarely successful as they typically don’t include enough information to judge their worth. A good abstract indicates what the data and/or problem or issue is clearly and does not just promise an analysis, but sets out what it is.

Special session: Is there lexically-specific phonology?

A special themed session is being organised for Friday 24th May by members of the organising committee and the advisory board. This will feature invited speakers, as listed below, and will allow for open discussion when contributions from the audience will be very welcome.

Generalizations about sound inventories, phonotactics, and alternations can apply exceptionlessly across the board or within very broadly defined domains such as the grammatical word. Often, however, they hold or fail to hold within relatively specific environments, such as particular lexical items (or classes of lexical items) or particular morphosyntactic constructions (or classes or constructions). In these cases, the question arises as to how much of the observed behaviour reflects phonological computation, as opposed to morphosyntactic structure or lexical storage. This session therefore asks: is there item-specific and/or class-specific phonology? If so, how does it work? And what can count as an ‘item’ (or ‘class’) in this connection? If not, how should apparent item-specific phonological behaviour be described and explained?

Invited speakers

  • Claire Moore-Cantwell (Simon Fraser University & UBC)
  • Jennifer L. Smith (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
  • Jochen Trommer (Universitaet Leipzig)

Invited discussant
Ricardo Bermudez-Otero (University of Manchester)