Formal Ways of Analyzing Variation 4

29-30 June 2017

The fourth annual Formal Ways of Analyzing Variation (FWAV4) is a two-day conference hosted by the University of York (UK). We seek to connect research that pursues formal analyses of linguistic variation, in all domains of grammar (phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics), with a particular focus on the connection between models of grammar and intra-speaker variation, rather than more traditional micro-variation or sociolinguistics. The purpose of FWAV is to bring researchers together in order to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms which underlie (and the relationship between) intra-speaker variability, language acquisition, and language change.

Invited Speakers:
Nicole Holliday, Pomona College
Anton Karl Ingason, University of Iceland


Please click the following link to view the conference programme: Formal Ways of Analyzing Variation 4 - Programme (PDF  , 58kb)


Registration is now open for FWAV4 and for the conference dinner. Please register here. We strongly encourage you to register early, especially so that we can obtain accurate numbers for the dinner. On-site registration is by cash or cheque only. The conference dinner will be held at Red Chilli, a well-known Chinese restaurant. If you have food restrictions or allergies, you will be able to specify them when you select the conference dinner using the online store.
  • Full: £170 
  • Students/unwaged: £85‌
  • Full: £200
  • Students/unwaged: £100 
  • Red Chilli
  • 7:30pm, Friday, 30 June
  • £30 per person, drinks not included


There is no university accommodation within easy reach of the conference venue at King's Manor, so the following guide: FWAV4 Accommodation List (PDF  , 51kb), presents private accommodation in nearby hotels, guest houses, bed-and-breakfasts and hostels, all within walking distance. A full list of such accommodation in York can be found at the York Visitor Information Centre website. You can also contact the Visitor Information Centre directly at 01904 550099 to find and book suitable accommodation in the area. Previous conference delegates have found this service extremely helpful.

Where prices are given, they are for three nights unless otherwise specified; prices may change as the dates of the conference approach. 


We invite papers on all aspects of formal analysis of the mechanisms of language variation and change. Research which makes use of annotated historical and synchronic corpora, or the results of which are derived from experimentation, are particularly welcome. Papers may address, but are not restricted to, one or more of the following questions:

  • How are language variation and variability encoded in the linguistic system (e.g. multiple grammars, variable rules, etc.)?
  • Can formal models of cross-linguistic parametric variation also deal with intra­speaker variability? Conversely, can formal models of intra­-speaker variability make predictions regarding parametric variation?
  • What do formal analyses predict to be possible or impossible, in terms of variation and trajectories of change? What are the limits of variation?
  • How does variability in the input affect language acquisition? How do language processing systems deal with variability?
  • What role does variability play in processes of grammaticalization?
  • Is it possible to establish that apparent variants are truly functionally equivalent in the grammar of an individual speaker?
  • How do we make the best use of statistical tools for formal linguistic analysis in this domain of research?

Abstract submissions are now closed.

Deadline for receipt of abstracts: Friday, 24 March 2017 (11:59pm GMT)

Notification of acceptance: no later than Monday, 1 May 2017


The event will be held 29-30 June 2017 at King's Manor, the city campus of the University of York. King’s Manor is a complex of medieval buildings in the centre of York.


Please send all inquiries regarding FWAV4 to:

FWAV4 is being organized within the Department of Language and Linguistic Science, University of York (UK), by the following:


FWAV4 is supported in part by:

  • The Department of Language and Linguistic Science, University of York
  • LAGB


  • FWAV, 14-15 May 2013, Institute of Linguistics, University of Iceland, Reykjavík
  • FWAV2, 28 May 2015, Institute of Linguistics, University of Iceland, Reykjavík
  • FWAV3, 18-19 May 2016, City University of New York, New York