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Slavisches Seminar

Empirical approaches to linguistic variation: The Balkans and beyond

Call for papers


Languages display continuously changing and coexisting structural strategies in each of their synchronic stages.  Over the last decades, the traditional description of individual linguistic features has been complemented by the application of quantitative methods capable of processing a large amount of data, whereby it became possible to capture the complex variation present in every variety. Variation is motivated not only by intra-linguistic factors, but also by the extra-linguistic environment – demographic, social, political and geographical. Understanding the interplay of these conditions poses a major challenge for assessing variation and the dynamics of change. 

The workshop focuses on morphosyntactic variation occurring in contact situations and transitional varieties, between standard and non-standard idioms, as well as in minority, heritage and endangered languages. We are particularly interested in empirical approaches that use novel and state-of-the-art tools, resources and methods allowing for insight into the spread and interaction of features, identifying previously unnoticed correlations and opening up new prospects for research in linguistic variation.

We are inviting contributions dealing with variation, in particular concerning the languages of the Balkans and Southeast Europe, as well as similar contact situations. Apart from linguistic analyses, we are interested in well-established and original methodological approaches to different facets of variation.

The workshop comprises oral presentations and a poster session. Individual papers will be 20 minutes each, followed by a 10-minute discussion. Poster presentations may be used in particular for the presentation of on-going projects and work in progress, also in addition to oral presentations. They will be staged continuously during the workshop. 

Abstract text should not exceed 500 words. The deadline for submission is January 10th, 2021. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by January 31st, 2021.

In order to guarantee diversity, one person may be the first author of only one submission and co-author of one other submission.


Please, submit your abstracts via EasyChair.


Deadline for submission (extended): January 10th, 2021

Notification of acceptance: January 31st, 2021

Workshop: March 11-12, 2021

Venue: Online / University of Zurich