Abstract Guidelines

Deadline for Abstracts: (there is no currently active call)


Please note the two significant changes in this call for papers that are different from previous years:

  1. The submission deadline has been moved back to July 17. This change comes as a consequence of the LSA having moved their deadline as well. Please keep this in mind as this is earlier than in previous years.
  2. The abstract requirements now include a description of the social outcomes / impacts / implications of the work presented. Details about this and a request for feedback on this trial will be addressed in a separate email.

General Guidelines (back to top)

  • All authors must be members of SSILA. See the SSILA website for information about membership and renewal. The membership requirement may be waived for co-authors who are from disciplines other than those ordinarily represented by SSILA (linguistics and linguistic anthropology). Requests for waivers of membership must be made by a member of the Society to the SSILA Secretary, Mary Linn (secretary@ssila.org). (Note: Membership in the LSA is not required for participation in SSILA sessions.)
  • Presenters will have 20 minutes for presenting, followed by 10 minutes for questions.
  • Any member may submit one single-author abstract and one multi-author abstract OR two multi-author abstracts.
  • After an abstract has been submitted, no changes of author, title, or wording of the abstract, other than those due to typographical errors, are permitted.
  • Papers must be delivered as projected in the abstract or represent bona fide developments of the same research.
  • Papers must not appear in print before the meeting.
  • Handouts, if any, are not to be submitted with abstracts but should be available at the meeting for those listening to the presentation.
  • All presenters of individual papers must register for the meeting through LSA.
  • Authors who must withdraw from the program should inform the SSILA Program Committee Administrator (conferences@ssila.org) as soon as possible.
  • Authors may not submit identical abstracts for presentation at the SSILA meeting and the LSA meeting or a meeting of one of the Sister Societies (ADS, ANS, NAAHoLS, SPCL, TALE). Authors who are discovered to have done so will have these abstracts removed from consideration. Authors may submit substantially different abstracts for presentation at the SSILA meeting and the LSA or a Sister Society meeting.

Abstract Format (back to top)

Please see the section on Abstract Submission (below) for important information about long and short abstracts.

  • Abstracts should be uploaded as a file in PDF format to the abstract submittal form on the EasyChair website.
  • The abstract, including examples as needed, should be no more than one typed page (12pt font, single spaced, with 1-inch margins); a second page may be used for references. Abstracts longer than one page will be rejected without being evaluated.
  • Please include the ISO code of any languages mentioned in the abstract prominently, preferably above the abstract text. Also include a latitude/longitude that is representative of the language/community. For example:

Semantic alignment in Chitimacha

ISO 639-3: ctm; Glottolog: chit1248; 29°52’09.1″N 91°32’38.7″W

  • At the top of the abstract, give a title that is not more than one 7-inch typed line and that clearly indicates the topic of the paper.
  • Abstracts will be reviewed anonymously. Do not include your name on the abstract. If you identify yourself in any way in the abstract (e.g. “In Smith (1992)…I”), the abstract will be rejected without being evaluated. Of course, it may be necessary to refer to your own work in the third person in order to appropriately situate the research.
  • Abstracts which do not conform to these format guidelines will not be considered.

Abstract Contents (back to top)

Papers whose main topic does not focus on the Indigenous languages of the Americas will be rejected without further consideration by the Program Committee. SSILA requires further that the subject matter be related to linguistics and/or language revitalization, that the research presented include new findings or developments not published before the meeting, that there be reflection on the work’s social outcomes/impacts/implications, that the papers not be submitted with malicious or scurrilous intent, and that the abstract be coherent and in accord with these guidelines.

Abstracts are more often rejected because they omit crucial information rather than because of errors in what they include. The most important criterion is relevance to the understanding of Indigenous languages of the Americas, but other factors are important, too. It is important to present results so that they will be of interest to the whole SSILA (and larger) linguistic community, not just to those who work on the same language or language family that you do.

A suggested outline for abstracts is as follows:

  1. State the problem or research question raised by prior work, with specific reference to relevant prior research.
  2. Give a clear indication of the nature and source of your data (primary fieldwork, archival research, secondary sources).
  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. For examples in languages other than English, provide word-by-word glosses and underline or boldface the portions of the examples which are critical to the argument.
  5. 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.
  6. State the contribution to linguistics made by the analysis and the work’s social outcomes / impacts / implications which may be positive, neutral, or negative, immediate or potential. Consideration of the work’s social outcomes/impacts/implications might focus on the specific topic under consideration or take into account the broader scope of a project. Effects might take a while to be felt, and might be nuanced with respect to who is influenced and how. Implications are likely to relate to the social significance to the language community, such as the project’s capacity for developing tools for pedagogy or revitalization, valorizing the language within a broader social context, or (perhaps at the same time) introducing points of tension regarding approaches to language teaching. They might also include bringing a situation regarding a language community’s status to wider attention, educating the public regarding language endangerment and its significance, promoting the application of Native ways of knowing in linguistic research or community-related goals.
  7. Please include a list of references for any work cited in the abstract. The references can be on a second page.

Categories of Presentation (back to top)

Authors are required to indicate the preferred category of their presentation at the time of submitting the abstract. The program committee will try to accommodate this preference as space and time allow. The categories to choose from are:

  • applied linguistics
  • historical linguistics
  • language revitalization
  • lexicography
  • morphology
  • phonetics
  • phonology
  • semantics
  • sociolinguistics
  • syntax
  • (other)

You will also be able to select the geographic area that the languages discussed in your abstract are/were spoken in when you submit your abstract on EasyChair.

Abstract Submission (back to top)

Submission for the SSILA meeting requires two abstracts:

  1. Short Abstract: This abstract should be no  more than 100 words, and will be used for publication in the meeting handbook. In EasyChair, you will paste this into the Abstract box under the Title and Abstract heading.
  2. Long Abstract: This abstract is the one that will be evaluated for inclusion in the meeting program. The long abstract should be a PDF file. In EasyChair, you will upload this PDF in the Long Abstract field under the Other Information and Uploads heading.

The submission process involves two tasks:

  1. Create your EasyChair account (if you don’t already have one)
  2. Submit your abstract(s)

Creating an Account in EasyChair

  1. Go to the EasyChair website: www.easychair.org.
  2. Click Sign Up in the top right corner of the page and follow the instructions for entry into the system.
  3. Enter your name and email address and click Continue.
  4. Check your email. You will receive a message from EasyChair. Follow the instructions there.
  5. Make a note of your username and password for future reference,.

Submitting Your Abstract(s) in EasyChair

  1. Go to the EasyChair conference submission page.
  2. Log in using your EasyChair username and password. (See Creating an Account in EasyChair if you do not yet have an account.)
  3. Click New Submission. On the page that appears, you will need to identify the author(s), title, keywords, topics, and submission groups of the proposed paper, and submit your short abstract and long abstract. (See details about short and long abstracts here.)
  4. Authors
    1. For yourself, you can click the link at the top of the author box to automatically enter the information from your account profile into the form.
    2. For co-authors, type in their information.
    3. If there are more than 3 authors, select Click here to add more authors.
    4. Use the Corresponding author checkboxes to select which author(s) will get email from the EasyChair system and Program Committee.
  5. Title, Abstract, and Other Information
    1. Enter the Title of the paper. This must be not more than one 7-inch typed line.
    2. Enter the prepublication (Short) Abstract. If your paper is accepted, this short abstract will appear in the meeting handbook. Cut and paste the abstract into the text box provided. Maximum length is 100 words.
    3. If your short abstract requires special characters, please also send it as a PDF file to the SSILA Program Coordinator (conferences@ssila.org).
    4. Enter the keywords (at least 3, up to 5) that apply to your paper. Plase include the subareas to which your paper belongs.
      • If your paper is to be considered as part of an organized session, include the name of that session as the first keyword, and check the submission group box for organized session (see submission group below).
    5. Under topics, select the main field of the paper (to be used by the program committee in grouping papers).
  6. Enter the submission group of your application, if appropriate:
    • If you are applying for Travel Assistance, click the box, then go to the travel assistance page and follow instructions for the Travel Assistance Awards.
  7. Upload Long Abstract
    • The long abstract, written according to the guidelines described above, must be uploaed here.
    • Use PDF format.
    • Use the Browse button to find your abstract on your computer.
    • Click Submit.
  8. Logout by selecting Sign out in the top menu bar.
  9. Questions? Please contact the Program Coordinator (conferences@ssila.org) if you have any questions about, or difficulty with, your abstract submission.
Updated: March 28, 2020 — 2:41 am