Update 7/1/20: ELM to be held Online September 16-18, 2020.

In light of the continued COVID-19 crisis as well as restrictions on campus activities at Penn in the fall, we are now offically committing to switching to a fully online format for the conference. This comes with another slight shift in dates: when scrambling for plans for an inital postponed date, still with faint hopes for an in-person event, space constraints limited our options, and we wound up with a very unfortunate overlap with Rosh Hashanah. To avoid this, we’re shifting to Wed-Fri, September 16-18, 2020.

The overall format of the conference will be similar to what was originally planned, though we will try to distribute events evenly over three full days (rather than 2 1/2) to adjust times at least somewhat for time-zone compatibility. Talks will be 20 minutes + 10 for discussion, as before. We are thinking through various ideas for enhancing the poster session in the online format, and to allow for other opportunities for informal connection, since community building was a major motivation for us. On that note, be assured that we are already beginning plans for a second, in-person ELM at Penn in June 2022!

While this will not be the start for ELM that we had envisioned, we are excited to see all the high quality work presented, and are confident that with the many lessons learned for virtual formats in the meantime, the conference will be a success. If you have ideas or suggestions based on online conference experiences so far, we are more than happy to take those into consideration!

We are excited to announce the first Experiments in Linguistic Meaning (ELM*) conference to be hosted virtually by the University of Pennsylvania, September 16-18, 2020. The conference is dedicated to the experimental study of linguistic meaning broadly construed, with a focus on theoretical issues in semantics and pragmatics, their interplay with other components of the grammar, their relation to language processing and acquisition, as well as their connections to human cognition and computation. It aims to include representation of linguistic, psychological, logical, philosophical, social, developmental, computational, as well as cross-linguistic and cross-cultural perspectives.

Invited Speakers:

David Barner
(Psychology and Linguistics, UCSD )

Suzi Lima
(Linguistics, University of Toronto)

Jonathan Phillips
(Cognitive Science, Psychological and Brain Sciences, Philosophy, Dartmouth)

Maribel Romero
(Linguistics, University of Konstanz)

The experimental study of meaning in language draws on a broad spectrum of disciplines, topics, and methodologies, and ELM reflects this diversity in its scope. We plan to hold ELM biennially to foster the interdisciplinary study of meaning, and to create a community of scholars that might not otherwise meet and interact with each other with regularity. We encourage researchers from around the world to submit their recent work to ELM1, and to attend in order to discuss the latest theories and data in the cognitive science of meaning broadly construed.

The University of Pennsylvania is home to a vibrant interdisciplinary community that studies language and meaning across several departments. ELM acknowledges support from Penn’s Integrated Language Sciences and Technology (ILST) Initiative; mindCORE, Penn’s hub for the integrative study of the mind; and Penn’s Department of Linguistics.

Philadelphia is a UNESCO World Heritage City with great history, culture, restaurants and museums. Most major points of interest are within walking distance of the conference location.


Florian Schwarz: florians@sas.upenn.edu

Anna Papafragou: anna4@sas.upenn.edu

Stay tuned about ELM 1 and future iterations by joining our Mailing List!

*By coincidence, two conferences with the acronym ELM were conceived of at the same time. If you’re looking for our friends at the other ELM, click here: Expression, Language, Music (ELM 2020)