The 26th
Manchester Phonology Meeting

With a special session entitled
featuring Silke Hamann, David Odden and Anne-Michelle Tessier

Thursday 24th - Saturday 26th May 2018

Held at Hulme Hall, Manchester

Organised through a collaboration of phonologists at the University of Edinburgh, the University of Manchester and elsewhere.

For information about the mfm and its history and background, see the mfm homepage.

There will also be a separately-organised Fringe Workshop on Wednesday 23rd May entitled
Phonological Solutions to Morphological Problems,

organised by Heather Newell and Shanti Ulfsbjorninn.

background  ||  call for papers  ||  special session  ||  organisers


We are pleased to announce the initial plans for our Twenty-Sixth Manchester Phonology Meeting (26mfm). The mfm is the UK's annual phonology conference, with an international set of organisers. It is held in late May every year in Manchester (central in the UK, and with excellent international transport connections). The meeting has become a key conference for phonologists from all over the world, where anyone who declares themselves to be interested in phonology can submit an abstract on anything phonological in any phonological framework. In an informal atmosphere, we discuss a broad range of topics, including the phonological description of languages, issues in phonological theory, aspects of phonological acquisition and implications of phonological change. 

As in previous years, the conference venue will be the Hulme Hall lecture suite in Manchester, which is located just south of the city centre and is easily accessible by public transport or on foot. Last year, the conference fee (covering general conference costs, coffee and biscuits, midday and evening meals, but not accommodation) was GBP 150.00, with a reduction to GBP 80.00 for students and unwaged participants. We expect to charge similar but slightly higher fees this year. 

If you would like to get a feeling for the conference series, you could take a look at the website for last year's 25mfm, and at the mfm homepage, which includes lots of information about the mfm conference series.

Advice on how best to travel to Manchester and on where to stay will be posted on this website in due course.

Call for papers

There is no obligatory conference theme for the 26mfm - abstracts can be submitted on anything phonological.
  • Abstracts should be uploaded to the 26mfm's page on the the Linguist List's EasyAbstracts site by or on 19th February 2018. The precise deadline, as implemented by EasyAbstracts, is as follows: 11.59pm US Eastern Standard Time on 19th February.
  • Please submit your abstract in pdf format, with fonts embedded (if necessary, we can accept Word files, but please send pdf if possible).
  • Abstracts should be no longer than one side of A4 (or 'American letter'), with 2.5cm or one inch margins, single-spaced, with a font size no smaller than 12, and with normal character spacing. All examples and references in the abstract should be included on the one single page, but it is enough, when referring to previous work, to cite "Author (Date)" in the body of the abstract - you do not need to give the full reference at the end of the abstract. Please DO NOT submit an abstract if it goes over one page for any reason - it will be rejected. Remember also that, if you abstract is accepted, you will need to submit a version with your name and email address, and this will still need to only take up one page - please bear this in mind and leave space for this when finalising your abstract.
  • Your abstract should be anonymous. You will be asked to submit a version with your name and affiliation on it if your abstract is selected for presentation. Please make sure that you do not use your name in the filename for your abstract, and please erase any details which might identify you in the file that you submit.
  • If you need to use a phonetic font in your abstract, please either embed it in a pdf file, or use the Doulos SIL font, which can be downloaded for free from this site: http://software.sil.org/doulos/.
  • You may opt to present your work either as a talk or a poster or as a poster only. These are the only two categories available. The category 'either talk or poster' is the default, and if you opt for this we will assume that you would rather present your work as a talk - we will award a talk slot to the abstracts in this category which we judge likely to offer the best programme. The poster sessions hves always been a great success at mfms and we give them a high profile. Some work is best presented as a poster, so you may specify that you would only like to be considered for a poster.
  • No-one may submit more than one single-authored abstract, as this allows more people to take part in the conference. You may submit one single-authored abstract and one jointly-authored abstract (or two jointly-authored abstracts), but it is unlikely that anyone will be offered two opportunities to speak.
  • If you need any technical equipment for a talk, you will need to let the organisers know if your abstract is selected for presentation. We will do our best to provide it, but this cannot be guaranteed. We expect to provide data projection facilities, but there will be no technical support for this.

All abstracts will be reviewed anonymously by four members of the organising committee and advisory board. You can read about the abstract selection process here. If you cannot send your abstract in the way set out above, for whatever reason, please email patrick.honeybone@ed.ac.uk and we'll arrange another way of abstract submission. 

If you would like to see which kinds of abstracts have been successful in the past, you could consult last year's abstract booklet, available here. Short abstracts are rarely successful as they typically don't include enough information to judge their worth. A good abstract indicates what the data and/or problem or issue is clearly and does not just promise an analysis, but sets out what it is.

We aim to finalise the programme, and to contact abstract-senders by mid to late March, and we will contact all those who have sent abstracts as soon as the decisions have been made. We are sorry, but we cannot make any decisions more quickly than this. We'll contact you as soon as we know.

Special session

A special themed session is being organised for Friday 25th May by members of the organising committee and the advisory board. This will feature invited speakers, as listed below, and will allow for open discussion when contributions from the audience will be very welcome.

SPE at 50: what remains?

The Sound Pattern of English appeared in 1968, fifty years ago. The book laid out a comprehensive theory of phonology, formulating and developing hypotheses in most areas of the discipline, including phonological representations, phonological derivations, the relationship between phonology and other components of grammar, phonological acquisition, phonological typology, and phonological change. Many of the ideas proposed or elaborated in SPE went on to become everyday tools of the trade for phonologists: a widely used theory of segmental features, rewrite rules, extrinsic rule ordering, morpheme structure constraints, boundary symbols, the transformational cycle, markedness statements, the evaluation measure, etc. It is thus not surprising that, since its publication, SPE has repeatedly provided a reference point for phonological argumentation, with phonologists often presenting they work either as a direct continuation, a partial reformation, or a direct rejection of the SPE programme.

At the distance of half a century, this special session is intended to offer a chance to reflect on how the field now views SPE: what remains? Is the abstractness possible in SPE's derivations a good thing? Are multi-stage derivations necessary? Are multiple levels? Should we retain or return to the phonological rule? (And if so, then what are rules and how are they constrained?) Or have phonological targets and effects been rightly and irrevocably separated? Are the analyses proposed in SPE learnable? Have models proposed since SPE improved in terms of learnability? Where should we stand in terms of representations: return to the simple binary features of SPE, or retain the enriched representations that emerged in late twentieth century phonology, or do something else entirely? Where does markedness now stand? SPE covered a lot of ground: are there ideas that have fallen from view that should be reintroduced into phonology? The invited participants in this session will address some of these and other related questions.

Invited speakers
Silke Hamann (University of Amsterdam)
David Odden (Ohio State University)
Anne-Michelle Tessier (University of Michigan and Simon Fraser University)

Invited discussant
Joan Mascaro (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)


Organising Committee
The first named is the convenor and main organiser - if you have any queries about the conference, feel free to get in touch (patrick.honeybone@ed.ac.uk).

 Patrick Honeybone (University of Edinburgh)
 Ricardo Bermudez-Otero (University of Manchester)
 Patrycja Strycharczuk (University of Manchester)

Michael Ramsammy (University of Edinburgh)

Advisory Board
Adam Albright (MIT)
 Jill Beckman (Iowa)
Stuart Davis (Indiana)
Laura J. Downing (Gothenburg)
Silke Hamann (Amsterdam)
 S.J. Hannahs (Newcastle upon Tyne)
 Kristine A. Hildebrandt (Southern Illinois)
Yuni Kim (Essex)
 Martin Kramer (Tromso)
Nancy Kula (Essex)
Nabila Louriz (Hassan II, Casablanca)
Joan Mascaro (UAB)
Kuniya Nasukawa (Tohoku Gakuin)
 Marc van Oostendorp (Meertens)
 Tobias Scheer (Nice)
 James M. Scobbie (QMU)
Jennifer L. Smith (UNC)
Nina Topintzi (Thessaloniki)
 Jochen Trommer (Leipzig)
Francesc Torres-Tamarit (Paris 8)
Christian Uffmann (Duesseldorf)
Ruben van de Vijver (Duesseldorf)
Sophie Wauquier (Paris 8)
Draga Zec (Cornell)
Elizabeth Zsiga (Georgetown)

The site is hosted by the Department of Linguistics and English Language at the University of Edinburgh.

Page created by Patrick Honeybone
                                                                      Last updated December 2017