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SMART (Speech & Language, Music, Art, Reasoning and Thought), in collaboration with the ACLC, is organizing a workshop dedicated to empirical investigations into the constructs of theoretical linguistics. We hope to bring together scientists testing linguistic theories through experimental methods.

Linguistic theory since the fifties has developed a rich body of constructs that have been used to explain the knowledge and cognitive mechanisms humans require to use language. So far there is an agreement that the language faculty is a biological object which can, therefore, be studied like one. With the advent of psycholinguistics and the spread of empirical methods among linguists, a new challenge emerges. Linguist must develop experiments that can provide empirical evidence of the theoretical constructs used in linguistic research.
Professor Colin Phillips from the Maryland Language Science Center will be the keynote speaker of the event. We welcome researchers working on empirical studies focused on the following topics:

  • The ontological status of theoretical constructs (morphemes, rules, features, etc.)
  • The study of linguistic processes/operations in broader (neuro)cognitive contexts
  • The development of psychometric measurements which can tap into linguistic knowledge using behavioral data
  • The exploration of the cognitive mechanisms that are responsible for the processing of linguistic information
  • The neural underpinnings of language production and comprehension
  • In general, experimental approaches to the study of language that are used provide evidence for specific linguistic theories, or to select between competing hypotheses.

We invite submissions for 30-minute talks (including discussion and questions) and poster presentations. Submissions should be sent to, indicating whether the submission is intended as an oral presentation or a poster presentation.
The workshop will take place on April 4th 2019 in Amsterdam (specific location to be confirmed)
Deadline for submission is 15th of December.