About the workshop

Workshops sponsored by the Council for Advanced Studies are intended to be a more intimate and interdisciplinary forum for students and faculty to present and give feedback on research in progress. Ours in particular addresses language change and variation in all its forms, from theoretical, historical, social, cognitive, and computational perspectives. Each academic year, about four (4) external speakers are invited: they come from around the United States and beyond with exciting and influential projects to present. In addition, at least two (2) speakers each quarter are University of Chicago graduate students from a variety of departments, to include Linguistics, Anthropology, Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, South Asian Languages & Civilizations, Classics, Comparative Human Development, and Psychology. LVC places a strong emphasis on student development, providing opportunities to practice conference talks as well as acting as a venue for various skill-building workshops.

To be placed on LVC’s mailing list, or to request to present, please email the student coordinator, Sami Jiries (sjiries@uchicago.edu).

Student coordinator
Sami Jiries | sjiries@uchicago.edu

Faculty sponsors
Marisa Casillas | site
Lenore Grenoble | site

Statement of purpose
The Workshop on Language Variation & Change (LVC) brings together researchers working on all aspects of language, with a focus on language use. Divesting from classical conceptions of language as a static and uniform system, LVC instead foregrounds speakers, and in particular how speaker differences condition linguistic differences in space (variation) and time (change). We invite discussions of variation and change as it occurs in a single language, as well as how differences in language use among different populations condition variation, engaging fields such as sociolinguistics, language contact, and historical linguistics. The workshop is also a natural meeting place for scholars engaged in comparative and genetic linguistics, as well as those who investigate variation and change using computational and experimental methodologies. LVC also concerns itself with the deeper significance of variation, touching upon research conducted from anthropological and neuro-cognitive perspectives. A final important component of LVC is how to conduct research directly with speakers: in this vein, we also regularly hold sessions on appropriate and effective fieldwork and experimentation.