24th - 26th of June 2020 Rorschach / Switzerland

«Variation in Language Acquisition» is a conference focusing on the acquisition of sociolinguistic variation in multilingual and multidialectal contexts in first and second or foreign languages. ViLA 4 aims to bring together the growing amount of research that considers the ability to perceive and employ variation in speech as an integral part of the language acquisition process.

Flyer ViLA

The conference comes as the fourth one of this kind, after a workshop in 2012 in Münster, Germany, a conference in Grenoble, France, in 2014 and a conference in Salzburg, Austria, in 2017. ViLA 4 will take place at Swiss University for Speech and Language Therapy Rorschach close to the Lake of Constance in Switzerland.

  1. Child acquisition of dialectal varieties of the first language;
  2. Child multilingual and multidialectal acquisition within multilingual/multidialectal communities;
  3. Acquisition of language-internal variation as well as language mixing in the case of second language learning in contact with native speakers (e.g. study abroad, migration), and learning about sociolinguistic variation in the foreign language classroom;

The following invited key note speakers have confirmed their participation:

1. Gunther de Vogelaer, University of Münster, Germany
2. Kyriakos Antoniou, University of Cyprus, Cyprus
3. Lisa Green, University of Massachusetts Amherst, United States of America
4. Sabine Stoll, University of Zurich, Switzerland

Research from different disciplinary backgrounds is welcome: sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, social cognition, anthropology, social neurosciences, etc. We encourage proposals that bring together cognitive and social issues or that combine experimental and corpus or field methods.

We welcome proposals for 20-minute paper presentations followed by 10-minute discussions that address the above issues, from one or more of the following perspectives. Alternatively you have the possibility to submit a poster, which will be presented twice within the poster session during the coffee break. In any case applications must meet the specific criteria enumerated below:

  • Description and modeling of adult- or native-like sociolinguistic knowledge and behavioural patterns
  • Underlyning cognitive or linguistic mechanisms
  • Language socialization
  • Acquisition of the indexical field and links between linguistic and social knowledge
  • Influence of the environment: family, peers, and teachers
  • Studies contrasting or combining theoretical views: formal approaches, constructionist and usage-based approaches, etc.
  • Language acquisition and language change
  • Combining methods and desirable innovation in methodology 

Format for abstract:

  • 500 words. times, single spaced, title centered at the top in bold, word count indicated
  • question clearly stated, significance and originality for the field, methods, analysis, discussion
  • examples, tables, figures and references on a second page

Abstracts (pdf format) should be submitted using the following link: 

More information:
Dr. Mirja Bohnert-Kraus
Department of Research and Development
Phone +41 71 858 71 71


(include the three lunches and daily coffee breaks)

Before 31st of March 2020

  • General: 200 CHF
  • Students, unaffiliated: 100 CHF
  • Conference dinner: 60 CHF

After 31st of March 2020

  • General: 250 CHF
  • Students, unaffiliated: 120 CHF
  • Conference dinner: 60 CHF

Important dates

  • Deadline for submission: 30th of November 2019
  • Notification of acceptance: 29th of February 2020

Scientific commitee

  • Michelle Auzanneau, University of Paris Descartes, France
  • Stéphanie Barbu, University of Rennes, France
  • Mirja Bohnert-Kraus, Swiss University of Speech and Language Therapy Rorschach, Switzerland
  • Laurence Buson, University of Grenoble Alpes, France
  • Maria Candea, University of Sorbonne Nouvelle, France
  • Damien Chabanal, University of Clermont Ferrand, France
  • Jean-Pierre Chevrot, University of Grenoble Alpes, France
  • Leonie Cornips, University of Maastricht, Netherlands 
  • Annick De Houwer, University of Erfurt, Germany
  • Gunther de Vogelaer, University of Münster, Germany
  • Mercedes Durham, Cardiff University, United Kingdom
  • Andrea Ender, University of Salzburg, Austria
  • Bronwen Evans, University College London, United Kingdom
  • Paul Foulkes, University of York, United Kingdom
  • Carla Hudson Kam, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • Irmtraud Kaiser, University of Salzburg, Austria
  • Amelia Lambelet, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Laurel MacKenzie, New York University, United States of America
  • Aurélie Nardy, University of Grenoble Alpes, France
  • Claudia Maria Riehl, University of Munich, Germany
  • Erik Schleef, University of Salzburg, Austria
  • Naomi Shin, University of New Mexico, United States of America
  • Jeff Siegel, University of New England, Australia
  • Jennifer Smith, Glasgow University, United Kingdom
  • Hans Van De Velde, University of Utrecht, Netherlands