5th Workshop on Sound Change

University of California, Davis, June 21-23 2019


  • Alan C.L. Yu (University of Chicago)
  • Georgia Zellou (University of California, Davis)


The Workshop on Sound Change is a meeting where researchers investigating aspects of sound change from a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives are brought together to work on substantive issues in the field and share ideas and findings.

The Special theme of the WSC 5 is sound change in endangered and small speech communities. Sound change research, as in most work in phonetics and phonology, have focused on languages that have historically been dominant or where speakers are easily accessible. The dynamics of language endangerment and interaction between small groups of speakers may provide unique opportunities for sound change to take place. Small speech communities has different social factors than large communities, leading to the phonetic and cognitive influences to interact and diffuse in different ways when there are fewer agents. How sound change might originate and diffuse in speech communities of different sizes is poorly understood. Furthermore, endangered and small languages are often heavily influenced by other languages and cultures, making sound change more likely. In order to make useful models and predictions about when and how sound change will occur, we need to explore these patterns in diverse speech communities.

Invited Plenary Speakers:

  • Naomi Feldman (University of Maryland)
  • Gareth Roberts (University of Pennsylvania)

Invited Speakers:

  • Christian DiCanio (University at Buffalo)
  • Marianne Pouplier (IPS, Munich)
  • James Stanford (Dartmouth College)
  • Meredith Tamminga (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Yao Yao (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)

Invited Discussants:

  • Patrice Speeter Beddor (University of Michigan)
  • Sonya Bird (University of Victoria)
  • Andrew Garrett (University of California, Berkeley)
  • James Kirby (Edinburgh University)
  • Jane Stuart-Smith (University of Glasgow)

Organizing Committee:

  • Santiago Barreda (University of California, Davis)
  • Darya Kavitskaya (University of California, Berkeley)
  • Tyler Kendall (University of Oregon)
  • Susan Lin (University of California, Berkeley)
  • Grant McGuire (University of California, Santa Cruz)
  • Alan Yu (University of Chicago)
  • Georgia Zellou (University of California, Davis)

Important Dates:

  • Abstract Submission Opens: July 22, 2018
  • Abstract Submission Deadline: January 25, 2019
  • Notification of Acceptance: Mid-March 2019
  • Workshop on Sound Change: June 21-23, 2019