Historical Linguistics at Leeds IMC 2020: Linguistic Borderlands, Speaking of Boundaries

deadline for submissions: 
July 31, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Roderick McDonald
contact email: 

First Call For Papers: Historical Linguistics Panel(s)

International Medieval Congress (IMC) Leeds, 6-9 July, 2020.


‘Linguistic Borderlands, Speaking of Boundaries’

We are proposing a panel (or panels) on historical linguistics picking up the 2020 IMC special theme of ‘Borders’.

The session/s will provide a forum for discussion of topics dealing with historical linguistic theory and/or specific historical linguistic analyses.


A number of people in the field have noted over recent years that, typically, historical linguistics has not had a very prominent place at Leeds IMC. This proposal is attempting to help remedy this situation and provide an avenue for historical linguists to become more involved in this important conference.

More information about the IMC can be found at https://www.imc.leeds.ac.uk/


This is the first public Call for Papers for the proposed panel/s. Paper proposals including an abstract of approx. 150 – 200 words are invited, to be sent to Roderick McDonald mcdrod@gmail.com by 31 July. A reminder CfP will go out following Leeds IMC 2019, in late July or early August.

Paper Proposals

Both theoretical and specific subject-analytical papers are invited, and your proposal might consider one or more of the following subject ideas, or other relevant topics that fit under the broad borders theme:

  • Language boundaries
  • Language, language contact and language change at the borders
  • The language of marginal or other overlooked inscriptions, whether in manuscript or stone, whether textual or graphic
  • Contexts (theoretical, political, cultural, academic) influencing the study of historical linguistic behaviours
  • Modern concepts of language boundaries and implications for the study of historical languages
  • Implications of historical (temporal) distance of linguistic behaviours as a boundary/barrier to scholarship
  • Implications of borders and boundaries between disciplines as constraints and/or as offering opportunities
  • Linguistic boundaries as an impediment to scholarship
    • how do hierarchies of languages of academic scholarship constrain the work?
    • how do divergent historical languages and historical boundaries between languages impact on the scholarship?


Christine Wallis (University of Sheffield), Emily Reed (University of Sheffield), Roderick McDonald (Emu Forge), Seàn Vrieland (Københavns Universitet)