Call for Abstracts 2021

2021 NARNiHS Research Incubator
of the North American Research Network in Historical Sociolinguistics

22-24 April 2021 – entirely online!

[ view/download Call for Abstracts as PDF ]

The 2021 NARNiHS Research Incubator will take place as an entirely online event.  This presents a great opportunity for scholars in historical sociolinguistics from all over the world to participate as presenters and/or attendees without the limitations imposed by international travel, and we encourage our fellow historical sociolinguists, and scholars from related fields, from Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, and Central and South America (in addition to North America) to join us for our Research Incubator this spring.

Abstract submission deadline:  15 November 2020, 11:59 PM (U.S. Eastern Time)

Abstract submission portal:

The North American Research Network in Historical Sociolinguistics (NARNiHS) is accepting abstracts for its 2021 NARNiHS Research Incubator.  Building on the great success of the first two years, this new kind of NARNiHS conference seeks to provide a collaborative environment where presenters bring work that is in-progress, exploratory, proof-of-concept, prototyping; and the audience actively participates in the brainstorming and workshopping of those new ideas.  We see the NARNiHS Research Incubator as a place for testing/pushing boundaries; developing new theories, methods, models, tools; seeking feedback from peers willing to engage in productive assessment of fledgling ideas and nascent projects.  Successful abstracts for this research incubator environment will demonstrate thorough grounding in the field, scientific rigor in the formulation of research questions, and promise for rich discussion of ideas.

NARNiHS welcomes papers in all areas of historical sociolinguistics, which is understood as the application/development of sociolinguistic theories, methods, and models for the study of historical language variation and change over time, or more broadly, the study of the interaction of language and society in historical periods and from historical perspectives.  Thus, a wide range of linguistic areas, subdisciplines, and methodologies easily find their place within the field, and we encourage submission of abstracts that reflect this broad scope.

We are soliciting abstracts for 25-minute presentations.  Abstracts should be no more than 500 words (not including examples and references).  Abstracts will be accepted until 15 November 2020 – late abstracts will not be considered!

Authors should be explicit about which theoretical frameworks, methodological protocols, and analytical strategies are being applied or critiqued; and data sources and examples should be sufficiently (if briefly) presented, so as to allow reviewers a full understanding of the scope and claims of the research.  Please note that the connection of your research to the field of historical sociolinguistics should be explicitly outlined in your abstract.

To encourage maximum exchange of ideas in the brainstorming/workshopping environment of the NARNiHS Research Incubator, presentations will be grouped into thematic panels of three presentations, each panel followed by an hour-long discussion with the audience led by specialists.  Discussion will encompass specific feedback on the individual papers as well as consideration of overarching questions of theory, methods, and models emerging from the papers.  To facilitate such discussion, authors will be required to submit a draft of their presentation materials for distribution to the panel discussants and to the other presenters 10 days prior to the start of the conference.

Abstracts are submitted through the KFLC website –  (
1) create an account and log in.
2) follow the menu path: Call for Papers > Submit an Abstract.
3) read carefully and follow the general KFLC abstract submission guidelines and instructions.
4) NARNiHS is only accepting individual submissions, so the KFLC instructions regarding pre-organized panels do not apply for the NARNiHS Research Incubator sessions.
5) select the “Linguistics” track and indicate clearly at the very top of your abstract: “NARNiHS Abstract”.

Note for students:  We are able to offer a limited number of stipends to cover conference registration for student papers accepted for presentation at the 2021 NARNiHS Research Incubator.  Information about applying for the stipend will be sent after acceptance of abstracts.

The NARNiHS Research Incubator is hosted within the framework of the longstanding conference, KFLC: the Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Conference, at the University of Kentucky.  The KFLC has a tradition of attracting scholars from a broad range of languages and specializations and is pleased to include historical sociolinguistics in its linguistics division.  Acceptance of a paper implies a commitment on the part of all participants to register and attend the conference.  All presenters must pay the appropriate registration fee by 01 March 2021 to be included in the program.  For NARNiHS-specific questions please contact the program committee for the NARNiHS Research Incubator at:, .  For general information about the overall conference please visit the KFLC website: .