View model sample abstracts and read more about the 2018 Annual Meeting.

Deadlines for receipt of abstracts: Monday, 31 July 2017, 11:59 PM US Eastern Time. Technical support for abstract submission will not be available after 5:00 p.m..

Late abstracts will not be considered, whatever the reason for the delay.  Contact [email protected] or phone 202-835-1714 for assistance.

The Program Committee requires that the subject matter be linguistic and that the abstract be coherent and in accord with published specifications. In 2018, there will be no more than six (6) simultaneous sessions of regular papers in each time block. As in the past, there is no upper limit on the number of papers in any subarea. Each abstract will be reviewed by members of the Program Committee and by expert external reviewers. The members of the Program Committee accept and reject abstracts based on the ratings assigned by the reviewers.  The Program Committee then meets to assemble the final program and arrange each paper and poster session.

Read more about submitting an abstract for the Five-minute Linguist, a special plenary event at the 2018 Annual Meeting.


General Requirements

  1. Abstracts for 20-minute papers and for posters must be submitted electronically between June 1 and July 31, 2017, using the link available on the LSA website.  LSA members will see a green "Submit Abstract" button below their names upon logging in.

  2. The submitting author must be a member of the Linguistic Society. Nonmembers may join here.

  3. Any member may submit one single-author abstract. There is no limit on the number of co-authored abstracts. An organized session paper or poster counts as a multi-author abstract submission.

  4. Authors are expected to present their own papers and posters.

  5. After an abstract has been submitted, no changes of author, affiliation, title, or wording of the abstract, other than those due to typographical errors, are permitted.

  6. Papers and posters must be delivered as projected in the abstract or represent bona fide developments of the same research.

  7. Authors should not submit abstracts for research that has already been presented at other major conferences or which has been published in a journal, as a book chapter, or in conference proceedings.

  8. Presenters must pre-register for the meeting.

  9. Authors may not submit identical abstracts for presentation at the LSA meeting and a meeting of one of the Sister Societies (ADS, ANS, NAAHoLS, SCiL, SPCL, SSILA).  Authors who are discovered to have done so will have both abstracts removed from consideration.  Authors may submit substantially different abstracts for presentation at the LSA meeting and a Sister Society meeting.

Abstract Format Guidelines

  1. Abstracts must be submitted in PDF format.

  2. Abstracts must have no more than 500 words of narrative text. Titles, examples, trees, tables, figures, captions, and references do not count toward this 500 word limit.  The title of the abstract should appear at the top of the page but does not count as part of the 500-word limit.

  3. Abstracts must fit on one 8.5x11 page, with margins no smaller than 1/2 inch and font no smaller than 10 point.  No exceptions to these requirements are allowed. This means that all content (narrative text, titles, examples, trees, tables, figures, captions, and references) must fit on one page.

  4. Your name should only appear on the Abstract Submittal Form. If you identify yourself in any way on the abstract itself (e.g. "In Smith (1992)...I"), the abstract will be rejected without being evaluated. In addition, be sure to anonymize your .pdf document by clicking on "File," then "Properties," removing your name if it appears in the "Author" line, and resaving before uploading it.  In addition, be aware that abstract file names are not automatically anonymized.  Please do not use your name (e.g. Smith LSA Abstract 2018) when saving your abstract in .pdf format, but rather. use non-identifying information (e.g., First Words of Abstract LSA 2018).

  5. Abstracts that do not conform to the format guidelines will not be considered.

  6.  Authors of all abstracts will be required to submit a shorter version of their abstract, intended for publication in the Meeting Handbook, if the abstract is accepted.

Abstract Contents

Many abstracts are rejected because they omit crucial information rather than because of errors in what they include. Authors may wish to consult the abstract models prepared by the Program Committee.

Authors are encouraged to consult the LSA Guidelines for Inclusive Language when drafting their abstract and identifying linguistic examples to illustrate the phenomenon under investigation.

A suggested outline for abstracts is as follows:

  1. Choose a title that clearly indicates the topic of the research and is not more than one 7-inch typed line. Note that your choice of title has considerable influence on how your paper or poster is grouped with others to form thematically coherent sessions. A clear relationship between the title and content of your abstract will help ensure it is assigned to an appropriate session, should it be selected for presentation.

  2. State the problem or research question raised by prior work, with specific reference to relevant prior research.

  3. State the main point or argument of the proposed presentation.

  4. Regardless of the subfield, cite sufficient data, and explain why and how they support the main point or argument. When examples are in languages other than English, provide word-by-word glosses and underline the portions of the examples which are critical to the argument. Explain abbreviations at their first occurrence.

  5. If your research presents the results of experiments, but collection of results is not yet complete, then report what results you've already obtained in sufficient detail that your abstract may be evaluated. Also indicate explicitly the nature of the experimental design and the specific hypothesis tested.

  6. State the relevance of your ideas to past work or to the future development of the field. Describe analyses in as much detail as possible. Avoid saying in effect "a solution to this problem will be presented". If you are taking a stand on a controversial issue, summarize the arguments that led you to your position.

  7. State the contribution to linguistic research made by the analysis.

  8. While citation in the text of the relevant literature is essential, a separate list of references at the end of the abstract is generally unnecessary. Note that references, should they be included, do not count toward the 500 word limit. They do, however, have to be included on the same page as the rest of the abstract (i.e. references cannot be listed on a second page).

  9. When you submit your abstract to the website, please identify as accurately as possible a primary field on the basis of the abstract's general topic area, and use the secondary field to indicate methodology or a secondary topic.  For example, a paper or poster about the production of relative clauses could have "syntax" as its primary field, and "psycholinguistics" as the secondary field.  This will make it easier to assign your abstract to appropriate reviewers.


Categories of Presentations

Members submitting abstracts of poster presentations and 20-minute papers should follow the instructions for abstract format and content carefully. Submissions in these two categories will be reviewed anonymously.

Note that abstract submitters must list a first choice for format (that is, paper or poster) and may list a second choice for format.  If you wish your abstract to be considered for presentation as a poster or paper only, do not list a second choice for format; if you indicate a second choice format, be aware that your abstract may be accepted in that format.  Submission type information is not accessible during the review process, to ensure that all abstracts are evaluated strictly according to content and not according to type of presentation.

Poster Sessions

Depending on subject and/or content, it may be more appropriate to submit an abstract to the poster session for visual presentation rather than to a 20-minute paper session. In general, the sort of research which is most effectively presented as a poster draws its major conclusions from the thoughtful examination of charts and graphs, rather than a sustained chain of verbal argumentation. Therefore, authors will want to make points in narrative form as brief as possible. The poster should be able to "stand alone", that is, be understandable even if the author is not present, and should not require audiovisual support.

The 225 posters accepted for presentation at the Annual Meeting will be assigned to one of three Plenary Poster Sessions of 75 posters each, on Thursday from 5:30 - 7:00 PM and on Friday and Saturday from 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM, during which time authors are expected to be present.  The posters may be left on display throughout the day during the day they are presented.  The Plenary Poster Sessions are designed to showcase the increasingly common research modalities which are optimally adapted for presentation as a poster.

Guidelines for presenting an LSA poster

20-Minute Papers

The 168 papers accepted for presentation at the Annual Meeting will be scheduled in themed sessions of three, six, or seven papers, on Thursday from 4:00 to 5:30 PM, Friday and Saturday from 9:00 to 10:30 AM and 2:00 to 5:00 PM, and on Sunday from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM.  Each paper presentation lasts 20 minutes, and is followed by 10 minutes of discussion.

Guidelines for giving an LSA paper

The Five-minute Linguist

Abstracts for The Five-minute Linguist are submitted using the standard LSA abstract submission interface.  

To submit an abstract for a poster or 20-minute paper AND for The Five-minute Linguist

In addition to the usual requirements for abstract submission, 1) after entering the title of the abstract, the language and language families, submission type, and primary and secondary linguistic subfields, check the " Click here if you wish this abstract to be considered for the "Five-Minute Linguist" contest" checkbox; 2) enter an abstract no longer than 300 words in the box titled "300-word abstract for the 'Five-Minute Linguist' contest."

To submit an abstract ONLY for The Five-minute Linguist

1) Enter all the required information:  title, language, language family, submission type (select "paper" for primary and leave secondary as "none"), and primary and secondary linguistic field; 2) CHECK the "Click here if you wish this abstract to be considered for the "Five-Minute Linguist" contest" checkbox; 3) UNCHECK the "Click here if you wish this abstract to be considered for presentation as a regular poster or paper at the Annual Meeting" checkbox; 4) upload a "dummy" copy of your 300-word abstract in the field for uploading your regular abstract, another "dummy" copy in the text box for the abstract summary, and a "real" copy in the "300-word abstract for the 'Five-Minute Linguist' contest" checkbox.  

Please contact David Robinson, the LSA's Director of Membership and Meetings, if you have any difficulty submitting an abstract.