LAGB Autumn Meeting 2003: University of Oxford (Somerville College)


First Circular and Call for Papers



The 2003 Autumn Meeting of the Linguistics Association of Great Britain will be held at the University of Oxford, Somerville College, from September 4 to 6. The local organiser is Gillian Ramchand <>. The conference website will appear at


Oxford is a unique and historic institution. As the oldest English-speaking university in the world, it lays claim to eight centuries of continuous existence. There is no clear date of foundation, but teaching existed at Oxford in some form in 1096 and developed rapidly from 1167, when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris.


Somerville College was founded in 1879 as a women's college (boasting such alumni as Indira Gandhi , Margaret Thatcher, Dorothy Hodgkin and Iris Murdoch),  but has been admitting men since 1994.  Somerville is located very centrally, within a 5-10 min walking distance of the town centre with its bars and cafes, and is also a short 10min walk from the bus and rail stations.



Accommodation will be provided on site at Somerville College, in single rooms with shared bathroom facilities. The conference venues, the bar and the dining facilities will all be located at Somerville College.



London Heathrow and Gatwick airports are linked to Oxford by The Airline coach service, which operate a direct frequent service twenty-four hours a day.

A frequent direct rail service operates between Oxford and London Paddington (approximately every 30 minutes), and between Oxford and Birmingham New Street via Banbury and Coventry. Other services operate from the north via Birmingham New Street; from the South via Reading; and from the west via Didcot or Reading.

In addition, frequent 24-hour direct services connect Oxford with London (peak times every 10-20 minutes). The Oxford Express X90 service includes Victoria Coach Station, Grosvenor Gardens, Marble Arch, Baker Street/Gloucester Place and Hillingdon.(tel: 01865 785410). The Oxford Tube service includes Grosvenor Gardens, Marble Arch, Notting Hill Gate, Shepherd's Bush, and Hillingdon (tel: 01865 772250).


Many Oxford streets are now closed to traffic and parking is severely limited. Delegates are advised to arrive by public transport, but for those planning to arrive by car the routes are as follows: London-Oxford A40/M40/A40; Birmingham-Oxford M40/A34; Bristol-Oxford: M32/M4/A34.



The Henry Sweet Lecture 2003 will be delivered by Professor Tanya Reinhart (University of Utrecht and University of Tel Aviv), title to be announced.


Prof. Reinhart will also be participating in  a Workshop on Tense and Aspect organised by Gillian Ramchand, with invited speakers including  Prof. Jim Higginbotham, Prof. Hana Filip and Dr Olga Borik.


A Language Tutorial on Madi will be given by Dr Nigel Fabb (University of Glasgow).


There will be a Linguistics at School session on A-Level English language.

For more information, check


There will be a wine party on the evening of the first day, hosting by Oxford University Press.


Enquiries about the LAGB meeting should be sent to the Meetings Secretary (address below). Full details of the programme will be included in the Second Circular, to be sent out in June.


Call for Papers: 

Members are invited to offer papers for the Meeting; abstracts are also accepted from non-members. The LAGB welcomes submissions on any topic in the field of linguistics; papers are selected on their (perceived) merits, and not according to their subject matter or assumed theoretical framework.


How and when to submit an abstract

Abstracts must be submitted on paper (not by email or by fax). FIVE anonymous copies of the abstract, plus ONE with name and affiliation, i.e. CAMERA-READY, should be submitted, and should be sent in the format outlined below to the President (address below). You must write your address for correspondence (email or surface) on the BACK of the camera-ready copy. (Even if several authors are named on the front, there should be only one name and address for correspondence.)


Abstracts should be accompanied by an account of any special requirements regarding audiovisual equipment (other than an OHP).


Papers for the programme are selected anonymously - only the President knows the name of the authors. Where possible, authors should supply an email address to which the committee's decision may be sent.


Abstracts must arrive by June 12.  Abstracts may also be submitted now for the meeting after the next one, but must be clearly marked as such. (In general the abstract deadlines for the autumn and spring meetings are soon after 1st June and 1st January respectively, so an abstract sent to reach the President by that date will always be in time.)


Format of abstracts

Abstracts must be presented as follows: The complete abstract (i.e. the one containing your title and your name) must be no longer than ONE A4 page (21cm x 29.5cm) with margins of at least 2.5cm on all sides. You may use single spacing but type must be no smaller than 12 point. If the paper is accepted the abstract will be photocopied and inserted directly into the collection of abstracts sent out to participants, so the presentation should be clear and clean.


The following layout should be considered as standard:


(title) Optimality and the Klingon vowel shift

(speaker) Clark Kent (

(institution) Department of Astrology, Eastern Mars University


The normal length for papers delivered at LAGB meetings is 25 minutes (plus 15 minutes discussion).

There is the possibility to submit abstracts for a themed session (or panel), i.e. groups of speakers can ask for a whole 2-hour themed session, and can apportion their time within that as they wish.  All the abstracts for such a session will be considered together.


The committee will plan the programme as soon as it has selected the successful abstracts, so please indicate on the anonymous abstracts if you cannot present your paper on either the second or third day of the conference (6th or 7th April). It is very difficult to reschedule papers after the programme has been planned.


Content of abstracts

The following guidelines may be useful:

+ You should clearly describe the paper's general topic. (The topic may be a problem of theory or analysis or set of data which have not previously been analysed.)

+ You should describe your treatment of the topic, and how it relates to previous work on the same topic. (When referring to previous work, it is enough to quote "Author (Date)" without giving full bibliographical details.) It is not acceptable simply to promise a solution'.

+ You should explain how you will justify your treatment, and quote crucial evidence - you must trust the committee (and other conference attenders) not to steal your ideas before you have presented them. If you are taking a stand on a controversial issue, summarise the arguments which lead you to take up this position.


Conference Bursaries

Up to 10 bursaries are available for unsalaried members of the Association (e.g. PhD students) with preference given to those who are presenting a paper. Applications should be sent to the President, and must be received by the deadline for abstracts. Please state on your application: (a) date of joining the LAGB (applicants must have been a member at least since the date of the previous meeting); (b) whether or not you are a student; (c) if a student, whether you receive a normal grant; (d) if not a student, your employment situation. STUDENTS WHO ARE SUBMITTING AN ABSTRACT and who wish to apply for funding should include all the above details WITH THEIR ABSTRACT. The bursary normally covers a significant proportion of the conference expenses and of travel within the UK.



Communications with the membership

Internet home page: The LAGB internet home page is now active at the following address:


Electronic network: Please join the LAGB electronic network which is used for disseminating LAGB information and for consulting members quickly. It can be subscribed to by sending the message "add lagb" to:


Nominations for speakers: Nominations are requested for future guest speakers; all suggestions should be sent to the Honorary Secretary.


Changes of address: Members are reminded to notify the Membership Secretary of changes of address. An institutional address is preferred; bulk mailing saves postage.


Future Meetings

Autumn 2004   University of  Surrey Roehampton

The LAGB committee



Professor April McMahon

Department of English Language and Linguistics, University of

Sheffield,  5 Shearwood Road, Sheffield S10 2TD                      


Honorary Secretary

Dr Ad Neeleman

Dept. of Phonetics and Linguistics, University College London, Gower

Street, London WC1E 6BT                                                        


Membership Secretary 

Dr Diane Nelson

Dept. of Linguistics & Phonetics, University of Leeds, LEEDS LS6 9JT


Meetings Secretary  

Dr Marjolein Groefsema

Dept. of Linguistics, University of Hertfordshire, Watford Campus,

Aldenham, Herts. WD2 8AT                                          



Dr Dunstan Brown

Department of Linguistic, Cultural & International Studies, University of Surrey, Guildford,

GU2 7XH                                                                                  


Assistant Secretary  

Dr Eric Haeberli

School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6AA


Marjolein Groefsema’s term as Meetings Secretary is reaching its end, and she has indicated that she does not want to stand again. Therefore, the LAGB would like to receive nominations for a new Meetings Secretary, to be elected at the Autumn Meeting.


The term of office of the President is also coming to an end at the Autumn Meeting; April McMahon has indicated a willingness to stand for a further two years and is the nomination of the LAGB Committee, however, further nominations are welcome.


All enquiries and nominations should reach the Assistant Secretary, Eric Haeberli, by 30 August at < >.


The Meetings Secretary would very much like to receive offers of future venues, particularly from institutions which the LAGB has not previously visited.