Important Dates

Sponsorship & trade opportunities open

February 2017

Call for papers open

13 April 2017

Call for papers close

14 August 2017

Call for papers submitters notified 

October 2017

Ultra-early bird registration opens

October 2017

Presenters deadline to register

February 2018

Ultra-early bird registration closes

February 2018

Draft programme complete

March 2018

Early bird registration closes

May 2018

Symposium opens  

Wednesday 27 June 2018

Symposium closes  

Saturday 30 June 2018

Organising Committee

Scientific Committee:

Ralph Adendorff, Rhodes University:

David Atkinson, University of Limerick:

Piet Van Avermaet, Universiteit Gent:

Melba Libia Cárdenas Beltrán, Universidad Nacional de Colombia:

Jan Blommaert, Tilburg University:

Brook Bolander, University of Hong Kong:

Julia De Bres, University of Luxembourg:

Brigitta Busch, Universität Wien

Jasone Cenoz, University of the Basque Country:

Jenny Cheshire, Queen Mary, University of London:

Leonie Cornips, University of Amersterdam:

Peter de Costa, Michigan State University:

Malcolm Coulthard, Aston University:  

Xiaolan Curdt Christiansen, Reading University:

Ana Deumert, University of Cape Town:

Alexander Duchêne, Université de Fribourg:

John Edwards, Saint Francis Xavier University:

Anna De Fina, Georgetown University:

Nelson Flores, University of Pennsylvania:

Alexandra Georgakopoulou, Kings College, University of London:

Durk Gorter, University of the Basque Country:

François Grin, Université de Genève:

Rainer Enrique Hamel, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, México:

Aniko Hatoss, University of Queensland:

Monica Heller, OISE, University of Toronto:

Juan Manuel Hernández-Campoy, Universidad de Murcia:

Kathleen Heugh, University of South Australia, Adelaide:

Christina Higgins, University of Hawaii at Manoa:

Rawinia Higgins, Victoria University of Wellington:

Rhian Hodges, University of Wales, Bangor:

Nancy Hornberger, University of Pennsylvania:

Kristine Horner, University of Sheffield:

Annick De Houwer, Universität Erfurt:

Marco Jacquemet, University of San Francisco:

Alexandra Jaffe, California State University Long Beach:

Adam Jaworski, University of Hong Kong:

Barbara Johnstone, Carnegie Mellon University:

Nkonko Kamwangamalu, Howard University:

Helen Kelly Holmes, University of Limerick:

Jeanette King, University of Canterbury:

Kendall King, University of Minnesota

Rita Kothari, Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar:

Ryuko Kubota, University of British Columbia:

Nils Langer, University of Flensburg:

Elizabeth Lanza, Universitetet i Oslo:

David Lasagabster, University of the Basque Country:

Li Wei, Institute of Education, University of London:

Diarmait Mac Giolla Chríost, Cardiff University:

Clare Mar-Molinero, Southampton University:

Marilyn Martin-Jones, University of Birmingham:

Wilson McLeod, University of Edinburgh:

Tommaso Milani, University of the Witwatersrand:

Annabelle Mooney, Roehampton University, London:

Melissa Moyer, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona: 

Michael Newman, City University New York:

Tadhg O’hIfearnáin, University of Limerick

Bernadette O’Rourke, Herriot Watt University, Edinburgh: b.m.a.o'

Joseph Park, National University of Singapore:

Peter Patrick, University of Essex:

Alastair Pennycook, University of Western Sydney:

Sari Pietikäinen, Jyväskalä University:

Ingrid Piller, Macquarie University:

Joan Pujolar, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya:

Ben Rampton, King's College London, University of London:

Unn Reyneland, Universitetet i Oslo:

Luísa Martin Rojo, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid:

Mukul Saxena, Nottingham University:

Mark Sebba, Lancaster University:

Barbara Seidlhofer, Universität Wien:

Elana Shohamy, Tel Aviv University:

Stef Slembrouck, Universiteit Gent:

Lynn Mario Menezes de Souza, University of São Paulo:

Chris Stroud, University of Western Cape:

Jos Swanenburg, Tilburg University:

Steven Thorne, Portland State University:

Mireia Trenchs-Parera, Universitat Pompeu Fabra:

Cécile Vigouroux, Simon Fraser University:

John Walsh, University of Galway

Lionel Wee, National University of Singapore:

Colin H. Williams, University of Cambridge:

Kathryn Woolard, Stanford University:

Previous Symposia

Organized by Euan Reid at the Walsall West Midlands College, the Sociolinguistics Symposia began in 1976 to counterbalance the absence of sociolinguistic concerns in the meetings of the Linguistic Association of Great Britain. A group of British and non-British-based sociolinguists (Bob Le Page, Euan Reid, Peter Trudgill, Suzanne Romaine, Jim Milroy, Lesley Milroy, Jenny Cheshire, or Jack Chambers) initially saw the need for a fairly informal forum to meet and discuss research findings and to debate theoretical and methodological issues concerning language in society, intensively and in depth.

"Jim and Euan Reid were instrumental in setting up the first meeting, which took place at Walsall Teacher Training College in 1976. Euan was a lecturer there and had recently completed an MPhil at Edinburgh. Jim and I lived in Belfast. At that time, the only well known work was Peter Trudgill's Norwich study,  published in 1974, which followed fairly closely Labov's New York City study. However, Jim and I had completed some pilot work in Belfast and we're just embarking on our first project. We found we could not easily replicate Labov's methods and devised some rather different ones.  Euan and Suzanne Romaine were working in Edinburgh. The first meeting was very successful, and Jim and Euan decided to ask Peter to edit the proceedings, as he was the only one of us with any influence. This book appeared in 1978. There were 2 more meetings in 1979 and 1980. At this point it was agreed to establish biennial meetings. The conference was still very small but it grew massively during the 1980s and meetings were held at different universities. The goal in the early days was to encourage distinctively British research, which in fact did not always follow the methods worked out by Labov as closely as American work did. This was because of different social and cultural factors affecting language variation, which were particularly obvious in Scotland and Ireland. The early SS meetings were important, as they allowed researchers to implement the groundbreaking methods and insights of Labov. They also allowed a distinctively British approach to language variation to emerge" (Lesley and Jim Milroy)

Since these early beginnings, the Sociolinguistics Symposium has become the premier sociolinguistics conference internationally. In 2002, the symposium was first held in continental Europe and 2018 sees it held for the first time outside of Europe and in the Southern Hemisphere.

Below you can find links to websites of previous editions of the Sociolinguistics Symposium:

Sociolinguistics Symposium 21 - Murcia 2016 (Spain): Attitudes and Prestige

Sociolinguistics Symposium 20 - Jyväskylä 2014 (Finland): Language, time, space

Sociolinguistics Symposium 19 - Berlin 2012 (Germany): Language and the city

Sociolinguistics Symposium 18 - Southampton 2010 (UK): Negotiating transnational space and multilingual encounters

Sociolinguistics Symposium 17 - Amsterdam 2008 (Holland): Micro and macro connections

• Sociolinguistics Symposium 16 – Limerick 2006: New perspectives on sociolinguistic change, conflict and accommodation

• Sociolinguistics Symposium 15 - Newcastle 2004: Culture, contact, change

• Sociolinguistics Symposium 14 – Ghent (Belgium) 2002

• Sociolinguistics Symposium 13 – Bristol University of the West of England (UK) 2000

• Sociolinguistics Symposium 12 – London (UK) 1998

• Sociolinguistics Symposium 11 – Cardiff (UK) 1996

• Sociolinguistics Symposium 10 – Lancaster (UK) 1994

• Sociolinguistics Symposium 9 – Reading (UK) 1992

• Sociolinguistics Symposium 8 – London Roehampton Institute (UK) 1990

• Sociolinguistics Symposium 7 – York (UK) 1988

• Sociolinguistics Symposium 6 – Newcastle (UK) 1986

• Sociolinguistics Symposium 5 – Liverpool (UK) 1984

• Sociolinguistics Symposium 4 – Sheffield (UK) 1982

• Sociolinguistics Symposium 3 – Walsall West Midlands College (UK) 1980

• Sociolinguistics Symposium 2 – Walsall West Midlands College (UK) 1978

• Sociolinguistics Symposium 1 – Walsall West Midlands College (UK) 1976