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Department of Comparative Language Science

Call for Abstracts [CLOSED]: Crosslinguistic Perspectives on Processing and Learning (X-PPL) 2024


The Crosslinguistic Perspectives on Processing and Learning Workshop (X-PPL) brings together the growing community of researchers working to expand the diversity of languages in the scope of psycholinguistic and neuroscience research. This research is driven by the recognition that structural/typological and socio-cultural diversity provides important and unique opportunities to see language processing and language learning mechanisms at work and to gain deeper insights into the balance between universal vs varying dimensions of these mechanisms. The bulk of processing and acquisition research represents only a small fraction of linguistic diversity, and this current state risks biasing both our theories and our 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 2024 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 2 and 3, 2024.

Keynote speakers:

  • Samar Husain (Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi)
  • Alex Cristia (Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique, Paris Sciences Lettres University)

X-PPL 2024 will happen onsite in Zurich, Switzerland. However, it will be possible to accommodate a “limited”  number of online talks (in a hybrid format). To make X-PPL 2024 accessible to researchers all over the world, we will stream all talks and discussions. However, we strongly encourage attendees to be present in Zurich to enhance networking opportunities and foster scientific exchange.

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) methodological, cultural or other 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 and observational 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) that were chosen for their grammatical characteristics
  • Studies providing processing-based or learning-based explanations of language change and typological distributions

In addition, there are several factors that make cross-linguistic and fieldwork-based research particularly challenging. Therefore, we also welcome abstracts that address:

  • Methodological issues which may be specific to cross-linguistic processing and acquisition research (such as 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
  • Methods for processing corpus and experimental data for psycholinguistic goals in low-resource languages

Furthermore, we invite abstracts on 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.

**EXTENDED DEADLINE** Abstracts should be submitted as PDFs May 8th, 2024 at this link:

Abstracts should not exceed 250 words (plus one optional additional page for interlinear-glossed examples, references, and figures). The language(s) studied should be mentioned in the abstract. Abstracts should be fully anonymized. The organising committee will then select contributions for 20 min talks.


Enquiries can be sent to x-ppl AT