Conference: MFM29

Date: 25th – 27th May 2022 (or around then)

Location: We have taken the decision that we will need to hold the MFM online again (as last year). Not held in Manchester, England, but still there in spirit.

Organised through a collaboration of phonologists at the University of Edinburgh, the University of Manchester and elsewhere.

With a special session entitled Second Language Phonology and Phonological Theory featuring Ellen Broselow, Charles Chang and Ellen Simon

Conference website:


We are delighted to announce the plans for our Twenty-Ninth Manchester Phonology Meeting (29mfm). The mfm is the UK’s annual phonology conference, with an international set of organisers. 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. The mfm has traditionally been held (every year since 1993) in Manchester in late May, although it had to be cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19, and it was held online in 2021.

If you would like to get a feeling for the conference series, you could take a look at the website for the 28mfm, and at the mfm homepage, which includes lots of information about the mfm. We intend to structure the 29mfm in almost exactly the same way as the 28mfm, which was widely thought to be a success in bringing participants together and creating opportunities for meeting new people and for informal chatting. Unlike last year, however, we intend to host a special session at the 29mfm, with invited speakers.

Call for papers

There is no obligatory conference theme for the 29mfm – abstracts can be submitted on anything phonological.

  • Abstracts should be uploaded to the 28mfm’s page on the the Linguist List’s EasyAbstracts site by or on 21st February 2022. The precise deadline, as implemented by EasyAbstracts, is as follows: 11.59pm US Eastern Standard Time on 21st February.
  • The website for uploading abstracts is here:
  • Please submit your abstract in pdf format (if necessary, we can accept Word or txt 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. DO NOT submit an abstract if it goes over one page for any reason – it will be rejected. Remember also that, if your abstract is accepted, you will need to submit a version with your name and email address at the top, 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/phonological 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:
  • 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.

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 the previous mfm’s abstract booklet, available here. Short abstracts (less than a full page) are rarely successful as they typically do not 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.

We aim to finalise the programme, and to contact abstract-senders around the end of March 2022, but it may take a little longer, and we will contact all those who have sent abstracts as soon as the decisions have been made.

Special Session

A special themed session is being organised during the conference 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.

Second Language Phonology and Phonological Theory

How do two (or more than two) phonologies interact if they exist in the same mind? Or don’t they interact – is each language’s phonology kept separate in the grammar? Is there a fundamental difference in these issues if a speaker acquires a second language as a child or as an adult? Can two phonologies ever have equal dominance for a speaker? In what ways, precisely, can an L1 influence an L2? And what happens in language attrition, when an L2 influences an L1? How can the answers to questions like these inform our theories of phonology in general? These are some of the questions that we hope our invited speakers will address in this special session.

Invited speakers