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, sociolinguistics, and all relevant interfaces, as well as allied fields in the cognitive and 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:

Psycholinguistic approaches to semantics/pragmatics

Psycholinguistic research has in recent years greatly informed linguistic theory, adding to our understanding of phenomena often already well-researched in theoretical frameworks. We invite submissions that use experimental or computational tools to investigate (theoretically relevant) issues and phenomena specifically in semantics, pragmatics, or their interface, including but not limited to e.g. quantification, gradability and vagueness, implicature, presupposition, reference resolution, or metaphor, etc. Cross-linguistic research is especially welcome, as well as interdisciplinary papers in neighboring fields, including psychology and cognitive science.


Modifiers (narrowly construed adjectives and adverbs, or more broadly phrases including prepositional phrases, relative clauses, etc) and their function, modification, remain a constant interest in the field. Cross-categorical phenomena of modification such as the restrictive/nonrestrictive distinction, the ordering/relative scope, gradability, intensification, etc. deeply inform our understanding of human languages. Thus we particularly welcome submissions to do with empirical observations on modification across languages and various theories and approaches towards it.


Ellipsis is of central interest to the study of language because it represents a situation where the usual form/meaning correspondence breaks down. In ellipsis, there is meaning without form. For this Session, we invite researchers interested in ellipsis from different perspectives, frameworks, and languages. We welcome presentations concerning any topic involving ellipsis, including but not restricted to: (pseudo)gapping, VP/TP/NP-ellipsis, sluicing, stripping, swiping, predicate ellipses, etc.; the structural representation of ellipsis; licensing conditions for ellipsis; crosslinguistic comparisons of ellipsis types; or the processing of ellipsis.

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, January 15, 2018 by 11:59 PM CST
  • Notification: February 26, 2018
  • Conference dates: April 26-28, 2018

For questions, please contact us at: