The Chicago Linguistic Society invites abstracts in any area of current research on the human language faculty, to include but not limited to syntax, morphology, semantics, pragmatics, sociolinguistics, phonology, phonetics, and all relevant interfaces and allied fields in cognitive/social sciences. We particularly encourage submissions relevant to this year’s proposed special sessions, 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. This year’s conference features a poster session; those presenting a poster may be chosen as alternates for talks, and poster presentations will be published as regular papers in the proceedings.

Special Topics:

Heritage Language Linguistics

Heritage languages, also termed “home languages” or “community languages,” are those languages spoken or studied by communities to which they are culturally connected. Heritage languages are sometimes labeled “foreign,” but this is a misnomer: instead, they may be indigenous or familiar to users in that they are integral to the identities of families and communities. Since they are non-dominant, they may be overlooked in the linguistic canon. This session seeks to contribute to the growing field of heritage languages. Specifically, we invite recent research on heritage languages and their bearing on theoretical topics, with an emphasis on syntactic, morphological or sociolinguistic issues. We especially encourage submissions relevant to studies of individuals’ own heritage languages or endangered languages.

Speech Acts

Speech act has a communicative function. It adds further meaning to an utterance, with a context. Speech act is realized in various ways in different languages, by prosody, word, or morpheme, for instance. In this special session we aim to bring together diverse aspects on the meaning and function of speech act and approaches to modeling and formalizing speech act. We especially encourage work that discuss the nature of assertion and question in relation to speech act. We welcome cross-linguistic observations in both spoken and signed modalities.


Resumptive phenomena have figured prominently in work on long-distance dependencies. The most prominent vein of this research has probed the nature of resumption as an island-avoidance strategy, while a growing body of literature has investigated the possibility for reconstruction with resumption. The result is a heterogenous picture of resumptivity, with languages exhibiting significant micro-variation. For this session, we invite submissions from diverse frameworks and languages on any aspect of resumptivity, including: resumption in A-bar dependencies; resumption as anaphora vs. movement; resumption in A-movement (e.g. copy raising); competition and economy in the distribution, interpretation, and form of pronouns vs. gaps; processing of resumption; less canonical forms of resumption, such as genus-species splits or split topicalizations; internal structure of pronouns; A-bar binding; and so on.

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: January 8, 2020 by 11:59 PM CST
  • Notification: February 17, 2020
  • Conference dates: April 30 - May 2, 2020

For questions, please contact us at: