Call for Papers: ALS2020 Building Bridges

Online Conference 
14-15 December 2020

The 53rd annual conference of the Australian Linguistic Society will run in an exciting online format on Monday and Tuesday 14th-15th December 2020.

The theme this year is Building Bridges, in acknowledgement of the role that this Conference will play in connecting together a community of Linguistics researchers who have been living through many months of perturbation, fragmentation, and (in some cases) isolation as a result of Covid-19. We will therefore celebrate the resilience of our community through these challenging times, and create a forum for providing mutual support and solidarity as we hear about the research that our community has been progressing in spite of everything.
The conference will run as an online event, including two keynote presentations, pre-recorded video papers, live panel discussions, a public event as well as live social events and a series of NEXT GEN sessions for HDR and ECR members.

Keynote speakers

Two keynote presentations will be delivered as part of the conference program. These will focus on how the field of linguistics can build new ways of engaging with society and its needs, including what we can do to address pressing issues of linguistic discrimination, racism and exclusion, as well as to foster an atmosphere of sustainable and supportive practice at all levels. These will be live-streamed and followed by a Q&A.
Confirmed keynote speakers:
Anne Charity-Hudley, University of California, Santa Barbara
Umberto Ansaldo, University of Sydney/Curtin University

Conference structure and scope

Presenters will be invited to submit videos of their talk or their poster in advance of the conference to enable them to be viewed online with the opportunity to comment and ask questions. This will precede a concurrently-programmed series of live-streamed sessions on 14th-15th December during which the session chairs will curate a Q&A and discussion around the papers within each session. Materials will be password-protected and will only be available to those who register for the conference. All materials will be removed from the conference website on 31st December 2020.  The conference registration fee will be held at a low level to encourage wide participation from the ALS membership and beyond.
The program will be structured around general sessions of oral presentations and posters and themed panels centred around a set of linked oral presentations. We welcome a wide range of submissions across the languages of the world, including Indigenous languages (from Australia and elsewhere), non-Indigenous global languages, migrant languages, sign languages, pidgins, creoles and mixed languages. As the Society hosts General Linguistics conferences, we invite submissions from all linguistic subfields, for 15-minute presentations in the general sessions, for posters, and for presentations within a themed panel. Abstracts that are deemed to be outside the scope of the relevant panel or workshop will be considered for inclusion in the general sessions or poster sessions. All abstracts will be double-blind peer reviewed. 

Main conference themed panels

Proposals are invited for themed panel sessions to be included within the conference program. Panels should consist of a maximum of six 15-minute papers and will be allocated a slot within the program alongside the general sessions. 
Proposals should be submitted via email to and should consist of a title for the panel, the names affiliations of the panel Chairs, a statement (300 words max) of the significance and timeliness of the proposed panel, and an outline of the prospective contributions, including titles and 100-word summaries.
The deadline for submitting panel proposals is 31st August 2020.  These will be reviewed by the ALS Program Committee with outcomes notified to proposers by 7th September.

Abstract Submission

All abstract submissions (for contributions to general, themed, and poster sessions) are due by 30th September 2020.
All abstracts will be anonymously reviewed by the ALS Program Committee. Notifications of acceptance will be issued by 20th October.
Each abstract must be a maximum of 1 A4 page of text including title. The abstract may also include 1 additional A4 page of examples, figures, references and other relevant content. Please prepare your abstract in Times New Roman 12 point font, with 2cm on all margins. On the additional page, references only may appear in 10 point font. Examples, figures, tables must appear in 12 point font. All abstracts should be submitted in .pdf format to facilitate the review process.
The abstract must be anonymous. It should not include any author names or affiliations. Please ensure you remove all identifying information from the document properties.
Each abstract should be submitted online via the ALS EasyChair website:
If you do not have an EasyChair account yet, you will have to create one for the purpose of this conference. To submit an abstract, you will need to both:
  1. upload your abstract as one anonymous .pdf document and 
  2. paste the title and main text of your abstract into a text box within EasyChair. 
As part of the EasyChair online submission form, you will also be asked for author & affiliation information, title, abstract, keywords and topics, your preferred presentation type (oral or poster presentation) and which themed panel, if any, you would like to present within. We strongly encourage a poster submission if your dataset lends itself well to graphical presentation. If you are submitting to a panel or workshops, please indicate if you would like the abstract to be also considered for the general sessions, in the event that it is not accepted by panel organisers.

Abstract review criteria

Each abstract will receive a general overall evaluation. The program committee will also consider the degree to which each abstract:
  • situates the study within its research context and demonstrates a clear theoretical, methodological and/or practical contribution to the field,
  • coherently articulates its topic and objectives,
  • outlines the data being analysed and how it will be analysed,
  • is of potential interest to an ALS audience.

After abstract are accepted

Once notifications of abstract acceptance are sent out (around mid-October), we will provide presenters with specific details as to the next steps. These steps will involve recording your presentation (for example, a recording of a slide show) and uploading a video of the recording to the ALS 2020 website. Once you register as a presenter, you will see an 'upload video' option on the online Member Portal. In addition, you will be asked to accept the conference's terms and conditions as well as to fill out a consent form related to your participation in the conference. The video papers will be uploaded starting on 7 December 2020 and will be available on the ALS 2020 website until 31 December 2020, at which point they will be deleted.

Further Information:

For further information and updates please see the ALS website or send an email to the 2020 ALS Conference organising committee:

The ALS 2020 organising committee

Gerry Docherty, Griffith University, Brisbane 
Robert Mailhammer, Western Sydney University, Sydney
Celeste Rodriguez Louro, The University of Western Australia, Perth

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