Association for Linguistic Typology 8th Biennial Meeting   (ALT8)

Typology and the study of language: Comparative grammar and beyond


University of California, Berkeley

July 23-26, 2009




Abstracts on any topic in typology are invited for 20-minute papers, posters, and possibly a limited number of workshops.  Non-members of ALT may submit abstracts but will be expected to join ALT in order to present a paper at the meeting.


ALT website:


Deadline for receipt of abstracts:  January 12, 2009

Notification by Monday, March 2. 


The Program Committee has taken into consideration the consensus of the 2007 meeting:  three simultaneous sessions is the maximum we can handle; conference workdays should not be uncomfortably long or without breaks; members submitting abstracts should be able to be confident that a good abstract will be accepted (i.e. the acceptance rate should  not be too low); standards should be stringent enough that only good abstracts are accepted; workshops during the conference sessions should be limited in number and their presentations should strictly adhere to the timing and quality constraints on regular papers.   




How to submit an abstract:

One individual may be involved in a maximum of two papers (maximum of one as sole author).  A workshop presentation by one person counts as a single-author paper.

Send your abstract as an email attachment to:

Subject header:   (your last name) alt8 abstract

                e.g.: hyman alt8  abstract

                (If you have a common last name, it's helpful to us if you also include an initial:                e.g.  jnichols alt8 abstract.)

Include these things in the body of the email:

                Author's name(s)

                Abstract title

                For workshops:  title of workshop and authors and titles of all workshop papers

                Contact information:  email, phone, fax


Abstract specifications:

Maximum length:  500 words or 1 single-spaced page

Abstracts and papers should be in English.

Put this information at the top of your abstract:

                The title.

                Category:  oral; poster; either oral or poster; TPI poster (see below)

                Format:  If at all possible, please send your abstract as a pdf.


Anonymity:  Abstracts must be anonymous.  Do not put your name or other identifying information on the abstract.  Also, please anonymize your pdf by removing identifying information. In general this can be done by using the following two pull-down menus:

                File > document properties > description    (remove name of author)

                View > comments    (though an abstract is unlikely to have comments, check this and remove any comments, as they will show your username)

                View >  review tracker   (ditto)

If it's your own copy of the software, you might also check:

                Acrobat > preferences > identity  (to keep your identity off of this and other pdf's, leave all the fields blank)


Give your pdf a filename similar to the subject header, e.g.:



Categories of submission:

                Individual oral presentations (single or multiple author).  20 minutes + 10 minutes for discussion.

                Posters.  One or more poster sessions will be organized, depending on demand.

                Oral or poster.  This means you prefer an oral presentation but can also do a poster.  If there are more good abstracts than we can accommodate, the Program Committee will schedule some as posters.

                If you choose either category "poster" or "oral or poster" you will increase your chances of acceptance.

                Workshops.   Both the sense of the 2007 meeting and the realities of competition for rooms during the busy UC Berkeley summer session dictate that we have very few workshops during ALT 8.  (A workshop is a thematically unified organized session held at the same time as other sessions.)  We will probably schedule all workshops during the same time, likely Sunday afternoon, July 26.  Please note the following policies:

                Each workshop presenter sends in an abstract for their presentation.  The workshop organizer also sends in an abstract for the workshop, about half a page to a page in length.  (Workshop organizers can collect the individual abstracts and attach them all to a single submission email, or have their presenters send in their own individual abstracts.  Either way is OK.)

                Each abstract will be reviewed in the same way as non-workshop individual papers, and will be individually accepted or not.  The whole workshop abstract will also be competitively reviewed.  If all the individual abstracts and the workshop abstract are accepted, the workshop will be scheduled as a workshop.  If not, the accepted papers will be scheduled as regular individual presentations (and may be scheduled together, as we will aim for thematic unity of conference sessions where possible).  In the case of a close call (e.g. a workshop with all but one presentation accepted; all presentations accepted but workshop proposal not accepted; etc.) the Program Committee will try to resolve things in as member-friendly a way as possible.

                Maximum number of papers per workshop:  6 (or 5 if the introduction is more than a few sentences).  A workshop must fit into a 3-hour time slot.


                TPI posters:  Typology and public interest.  Meeting on a large busy campus during the LSA Institute and the general Summer Session gives typologists an opportunity to communicate to non-typologists and non-linguistics why and how typology is interesting and what important discoveries are being made in typology.  Therefore we plan to schedule an over-quota TPI poster and if possible a competition to pick the posters (TPI and other) that do the best job of communicating the interest of typology and/or typological phenomena of interest, and display the winners for a longer time in a prominent display cabinet in one of the important campus buildings.  By "over quota" we mean that TPI posters can be a second single-author abstract.  With this TPI poster session and competition we hope to inspire members to mobilize their graphic, communicative, and analytic skills to produce compelling posters on such topics as:

                Typological rarities and other phenomena of interest, previously published or not.  These might include findings from recent fieldwork for which you have a squib-like presentation, phenomena noted in published literature, proposed correlations, etc.

                Public communications making clear in not-too-technical terms the interest of something you have already published or are publishing (or e.g. presenting at this conference).

                Examples of best practice in typological work

                Demonstrations of software and its applications

                Teaching materials, curriculum, etc.