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Department of Comparative Language Science

Call for Abstracts: Crosslinguistic Perspectives on Processing and Learning (X-PPL) 2022

The Crosslinguistic Perspectives on Processing and Learning Workshop
brings together the growing community of researchers working to expand the diversity of languages in the scope of experimental or corpus research on adults or language acquisition. This research is driven by the recognition that structural/typological and socio-cultural diversity represents different opportunities to see processing and learning mechanisms at work.  The bulk of processing and acquisition research represents only a small fraction of linguistic diversity, and this risks skewing both our theories and research questions.
The Crosslinguistic Perspectives on Processing and Learning Workshop (X-PPL) aims to fill this gap and provide a platform for cross-linguistic research on language processing and learning. X-PPL 2022 will be hosted by the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Language Evolution and the Department of Comparative Language Science at the University of Zurich, and will take place on September 12-13, 2022

Keynote speakers:

The first day of the workshop (September 12) will be held online to allow everyone to present and participate in X-PPL irrespective of where they are located. The second day (September 13) will be held onsite in Zurich to facilitate in-person discussions and conversations. Talks will still be streamed to make it possible to watch from anywhere in the world.
We invite contributions for 20-minute talks on the interface of linguistic diversity and language processing (encompassing production and comprehension), and language learning with the goal of understanding linguistic ontogeny (first language acquisition) and phylogeny (typological diversification, structural evolution). We also invite abstracts on (a) issues that research on language processing and learning outside of the lab might encounter or (b) plans for cross-linguistic work (see below). 
Specifically, we invite contributions presenting new evidence on:

  • Whether and how grammars are shaped by (cognitive and neurobiological) constraints on processing and learning, and by external pressures
  • Whether and how the different grammatical properties of linguistic systems shape processing and learning strategies

We welcome in particular:

  • Experimental studies on under-researched languages providing implications for processing and acquisition theories
  • Studies examining production, comprehension, or (L1) developmental phenomena in one or more language(s) chosen for differences in their grammatical characteristics
  • Studies providing processing-based or learning-based explanations of language change and typological distributions

In addition, we understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has made and is continuing to make cross-linguistic and fieldwork-based research particularly difficult. Therefore, we also welcome abstracts which address:

  • Methodological issues which may be specific to cross-linguistic processing (small to non-existent corpora resources, varying literacy levels among speakers, participants who aren’t familiar with experiments/technology, etc.) and the solutions which researchers have found to address these issues
  • Plans for experimental cross-linguistic work that the presenters would like to get feedback on, such as from researchers new to experimental cross-linguistic work that may particularly benefit from the expertise of the community.
  • Methods for processing corpus data for psycholinguistic goals in low-resource languages

Abstracts should be submitted as PDFs to, no later than May 31, 2022. Abstracts should not exceed one A4 page (one additional page for interlinear-glossed examples, references, and figures is allowed).