Spring Meeting: University of Sheffield


First Circular and Call for Papers


The Linguistic Association of Great Britain Spring Meeting 2003 will take place in the centrally situated city of Sheffield, from 14th – 16th April, 2003. The local organisers are Claire Cowie ( and Therese Lindström (


There is a conference website available at: This page will be kept up-to-date with information about the programme, participants, travel, accommodation, etc.


Sheffield is an old industrial city close to several of the other big cities in the North of England. It is situated on the border to the beautiful Peak District, and a day-trip away from the Yorkshire Dales. In recent years the city centre has been greatly changed and ‘rejuvenated’, the latest addition being a modern art gallery and a very promising winter garden on the site of the old town hall.

Sheffield is beautiful around the middle of April and Halifax Hall of Residence, where the conference will take place, has a wonderful garden where participants can have a stroll in the breaks, and it is also just around the corner from the Botanical Gardens.  Presentations, the plenary lecture, the language tutorial, meetings, meals and accommodation, as well as the book display will all be in Halifax Hall.


Accommodation: In Halifax Hall there will be standard single rooms available at a low cost. If an en-suite room or a double room is required there are several Bed and Breakfast places and some hotels within walking distance from the conference venue, please contact the local organisers for further information.


Travel: The University of Sheffield is easy to reach by rail, air and road. There are regular Intercity and cross-country trains and connections from everywhere in Britain, and there is also a direct train to/from Manchester airport which is the most convenient airport to fly in to for those of you travelling from abroad. The M1 runs through Sheffield and provides people both from the north and from the south of Britain with a convenient and relatively easy way to the city. However, the car park at the venue is not huge though it should accommodate 10-15 cars. Otherwise it is also very easy to get there by bus from the Transport Interchange (bus/coach) and Railway Station. Many parts of the city can also be accessed by the popular tram system which runs from the university. More information, including maps, is available at the conference website.


Events:  The Linguistics Association 2003 Lecture on Monday evening will be delivered by Professor Stephen Anderson (Yale) and is on the topic of Kwakw'ala Clitics.


There will be a Workshop on Clitics, organised by John Payne (Manchester)


There will be a Language Tutorial on Inari Sami, by Ida Toivonen.


There will be a Linguistics at School session on Community languages.


There will be a Wine Party on Monday night, hosted by the Department of English Language and Linguistics.

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 January.



A booking form will go out with the second Circular.



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 to the President (address below) in the format outlined 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 indication 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 January 6.  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. It is extremely important that the length limit should not be exceeded.  Submitting overlong abstracts is unfair to other prospective speakers, and the committee will not accept them.


The following layout should be considered as standard:


Optimality and the Klingon vowel shift (title)

Clark Kent (speaker) (email address)

Department of Astrology, Eastern Mars University (institution)


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 (15th or 16th 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) whether or not you are a student; (b) if a student, whether you receive a normal grant; (c) 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 can be found 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.




The LAGB committee


President   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 David Willis

Dept. of Linguistics, University of Cambridge, Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge CB3 9DA


Meetings Secretary   Dr Marjolein Groefsema

Dept. of Linguistics, University of Hertfordshire, Watford Campus, Aldenham, Herts. WD2 8AT


Treasurer   Dr Wiebke Brockhaus-Grand

Dept. of German, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL


Assistant Secretary   Dr Gillian Ramchand

Centre for Linguistics and Philology, Walton Street, Oxford OX1 2HG


Nominations for the Committee

Wiebke Brockhaus's term as Treasurer 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 Treasurer.


All enquiries and nominations should reach the Assistant Secretary, Gillian Ramchand, by 30 March at
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Future Meetings

4-6 September 2003                           University of Oxford

Autumn 2004 (provisional)            University of Surrey Roehampton.


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