Call for Papers

Third AMC Symposium, 5-7 December 2022

Change in syntax and phonology: the same or different?

What is the locus of linguistic change? Is it the same in syntax and in phonology? Does language acquisition have a crucial role in change? Or does change happen in adults? Are speakers and hearers equally important in change? Is reanalysis and restructuring always fundamental in implementing change? Is change fed by exogenous or endogenous factors (or both)? Should we expect the answers to these questions to be the same across the grammar, or are there reasons to expect that phonology and syntax will behave differently? These fundamental questions are often overlooked in historical linguistics as we strive to understand particular changes or types of change from specific languages or from only one linguistic level. This symposium intends to offer a space for their discussion by bringing together (historically interested) specialists from both syntax and phonology (and related fields) and by inviting engagement with them. We do not expect to answer all of these questions, but we hope to make progress in understanding them.

The seven invited speakers at the symposium have all been invited to address issues from the perspective of both phonology and syntax, in one-hour speaking slots. We are now also inviting abstracts for regular (half-hour) talks from anyone else who would like to participate in the symposium. We would welcome abstracts that deal with any aspect of historical syntax or historical phonology, but we especially encourage abstracts that engage in some way with questions like the following:

  • What are the mechanisms through which change occurs in syntax and/or in phonology? To what extent can the mechanisms of change identified at one linguistic level be generalised to account for change at the other?
  • What age are the speaker-hearers who lead change? Should we expect the answer to this question to be the same for phonology and syntax?
  • What is the relative importance of reanalysis and gradual change during a lifespan in linguistic change?
  • To what extent is change fed by exogenous or endogenous factors? And how do such factors feed into acquisition? Do exogenous and endogenous factors play the same roles in phonological and syntactic change?

While the invited speakers have been asked to address the issues from the perspective of both phonology and syntax, we would welcome abstracts for regular talks which focus on either phonology and syntax.

Presentation format

Presentation slots for regular (non-invited) talks will be 30 minutes (20-minute talk + 10-minute discussion).

Abstract submissions

Please submit abstracts* of up to 400 words (excluding references) via the EasyAbs link below (deadline: 10th August 2022). Submissions will be subjected to a double-blind peer-review process. Please make sure that submitted files (.doc, .pdf, .txt, or .odt) are fully anonymised.

Notification of acceptance will be sent out by 29th August 2022.

*No more than one individual and one co-authored paper per participant.

The EasyAbs abstract submission page for the symposium is here.
(NB: there seem to have been a few problems with the EasyAbs site – if you can’t use it to submit your abstract, just send it to us by email, to

The language of the conference is English.

NB: The deadline has now passed and the programme has been selected. The details are available on the symposium’s main page.


The main organisers of the symposium are Bettelou Los and Patrick Honeybone. Please direct any enquiries to:

Click here to go back to the symposium’s main page.