Call for Papers: 56th Linguistics Colloquium

By | October 12, 2020

International conference comprising all fields of linguistics

For the first time the event taking place as a free online event

Special theme:
Translation, Multilinguality and  Cognition 

Submission of abstracts: October 12, 2020
Submission of full papers:
February 28

Keynote speakers
Philipp Koehn, Johns Hopkins University, USA
Jan Hajič, Charles University, Czech Republic
Christopher Manning, Stanford University, USA

Date of Conference: November 26 to 28, 2020

Since its inception in 1966, the Linguistics Colloquium has been held annually without interruption in a total of 18 European countries. Its long term continuity is ensured by a large international committee consisting of its previous organizers. The Colloquium is devoted to research in all areas of linguistics. It is open to different theoretical approaches and aims to create friendly and inspiring conditions for the fruitful exchange of ideas and results. It is also appreciated for its welcoming atmosphere and cooperative discussion culture open to scientists of all ages and nationalities.

Traditionally, authors submit an abstract which, upon acceptance, is presented and discussed at the conference. Afterwards, a full paper has to be submitted, taking into account the outcome of the scientific discussion. As usually, also this year we plan to publish the proceedings as a hardcover book in the series Linguistik International of the publishing house Peter Lang.

Like many other conferences, this year, for the first time in its history, the Linguistics Colloquium will be organized as an online event. As, despite regular attendance from overseas, the Colloquium has been mostly a European event so far, we hope that colleagues from other continents will see this as an opportunity to get to know the friendly and co-operative spirit of the colloquium. To further encourage this and because an online event requires less funding, as a novelty this year we decided to completely waive registration fees.

How the conference will be conducted?

In our experience, conferences with pre-recorded presentations have the drawbacks that all presenters have to deal with recording issues, and that a real live atmosphere promoting questions and discussion is hard to obtain.

Therefore, in order to keep as much of the Colloquium’s interactive character as possible, the conference will be held in the form of several parallel online sessions, each representing a thematic field and realized as a separate online meeting hosted by a session chair. To minimize technical overhead for participants, we will use the popular “Zoom” video conferencing software which is particularly user-friendly. Registered participants will receive links to the conference sessions. By clicking on these, participation is possible with almost any desktop PC, portable computer or smart device. No cost is involved on the side of the participants and no pre-installation of software is required. Only when clicking on the provided links the user may be asked to allow installation of the free Zoom software (or, alternatively, to rely on the browser). Speakers require devices with a camera and a microphone (e.g. a laptop or tablet computer) and will be allowed to make the presentation screen of their laptop available to the audience. Questions can be either asked using audio/video or in writing via Zoom’s chat function (in which case the chair person will read them out). To minimize the risk of technical difficulties, speakers and participants are encouraged to join a test session some time ahead of the conference (see schedule below).

We plan to record all sessions for the following reasons:

  • Speakers can receive a complimentary video of their presentation if desired.

  • We hope that after the conference many speakers will wish to have their presentations published online (e.g. as a service for participants who missed a session or to address a wider audience). But in any case the decision on publication will be entirely up to the speakers.

On the registration form, speakers will be asked to give their permission for their presentation being recorded. During discussions, participants should only ask questions using audio/video if they also agree on being recorded. If not, they are supposed to ask their questions in writing via Zoom’s chat function. We hope for participants’ understanding that switching the live stream recording on and off for individual speakers and questions would be a burden for the session chair and, during lively discussions involving several participants, appears too error prone to be practical.

Topic areas

The special theme of the conference is “Translation, Multilinguality and Cognition”. But contributions from all areas of linguistics are welcome, including but not limited to:

  • Theory of linguistics

  • Historical linguistics

  • Diachronic linguistics

  • Corpus linguistics, text mining

  • Computational linguistics, natural language processing

  • Neural language processing and machine learning

  • Comparative & contrastive linguistics, typology

  • Applied linguistics, language learning

  • Neuro- and psycholinguistics

  • Sociolinguistics

  • Lexicology, lexicography

  • Phonology, phonetics

  • Morphology

  • Syntax

  • Semantics

  • Pragmatics

  • Text / Discourse

  • Semiotics

Important dates

Oct. 12, 2020 Submission of abstracts (extended deadline)

Oct. 15, 2020 Notification of acceptance

Oct. 30, 2020 Registration for presenters (free of charge)

Nov. 14, 2020 Zoom trial session (test session to identify technical problems)

Nov. 22, 2020 Registration for participants without presentation (free of charge)

Nov. 26 to 28, 2020 Conference dates

Feb. 28, 2021 Submission of full papers

For submitting your abstract, by the deadline listed above, please send the following information by e-mail to lingcoll(at)
  • First name, (middle name or initial), surname

  • Academic title(s)

  • Affiliation and place

  • e-mail-address

  • Time zone (with reference to UTC, e.g. “UTC +2) from where you will attend the conference. This is required for scheduling your presentation appropriately

  • Topic area of paper (please choose from the above list)

  • Title of paper (English or German)

  • Abstract (same language as title) of about 500 words (including references). If your abstract contains special characters, please attach it in the format of your word processor (preferably Word) and as a PDF-file to your e-mail.

Should you not receive a confirmation of receipt within seven days, please resend your e-mail to Reinhard Rapp at reinhard.rapp(at)

If accepted, your submission will be published in the book of abstracts on the conference website by the time of the conference.

Instructions for submitting the full paper will be distributed after the conference. Similar to previous years, we anticipate a page limit of between eight and ten pages in the format required by the publisher.

Registration is free of charge but is nevertheless required for organizational reasons. Further details on registration will be announced later.


As in previous years, we plan to publish the post-conference proceedings as a hardcover book in the series Linguistik International of Peter Lang.

Conference languages
Conference languages are English and German. Although the Linguistics Colloquium supports linguistic diversity, for organizational reasons we are not able to provide for more languages. To avoid problems for delegates not speaking both languages, attention will be placed on parallelizing programme sessions in such a way that, as far as possible, there is always a choice of language.
Please send all correspondence relating to the 56th Linguistics Colloquium 2020 by e-mail to lingcoll(at) or, as a backup in case of problems, to Reinhard Rapp at reinhard.rapp(at)
For more details, please visit the official website