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That's a wrap!

Thanks to all presenters, registrants, and tireless organizing committee members and volunteers for making NWAV50 a success. One thing is clear: After 50 years, NWAV is stronger than ever!

Please congratulate the NWAV50 student award winners: Katie Connor, Calico Ducheneaux, Lewis Esposito, Ahmed Al-Hakami, and Rob Xu!

Welcome to NWAV50!

New Ways of Analyzing Variation (NWAV) is a yearly conference for the presentation and discussion of new research on sociolinguistic variation. This year, it will be hosted by the Department of Linguistics at Stanford University October 13-15, 2022. Over the fifty years of its existence, the conference has reflected the growth and diversification of the field. In this fiftieth year, our theme is “What does variation mean?” in all its senses, including:

  • How does the meaning of variation fit into the larger meaning system of language? 
  • How does variation fit into a broader semiotic system?
  • What are the boundaries of variation as an object of study?
  • What is the real-world significance of variation?

See our Announcements page to stay up to date on the conference, including a list of NWAV50 Travel Award Winners.

Plenary Speakers

Joseph C. Hill (Rochester Institute of Technology)
Same but different: What sociolinguistic lessons can we find in the study of sign languages?

Barbra A. Meek (University of Michigan)
Re-languaging: From documentation to decolonization

Emma Moore (University of Sheffield)
Where does the sociolinguistic variable start?

William Labov and Gillian Sankoff have had to cancel their plenary because William Labov is having a cataract operation that couldn't be rescheduled.

What's new and different at NWAV50?

Given the constantly evolving nature of the pandemic, we have decided to host the conference in a hybrid format. In an attempt to make a hybrid conference as interactive as possible, we have made a few innovations:

  • All papers will be live, with discussion. There will be three concurrent sessions, and papers will be 10 or 20 minutes long, with 5 minutes for discussion. 10-minute papers will be the default, but a small number of papers will be given 20 minutes. With speakers’ permission, talks will be recorded and available online after the conference. 
  • There will be no posters or workshops. 
  • We are introducing a new genre of presentation at this NWAV—Project Launch—an opportunity for researchers at the beginning or early stages of a new project to present and discuss their plans, and get constructive feedback and advice from the NWAV community. We hope that researchers at all stages will consider presenting their projects, but we particularly encourage new and junior researchers to submit. We are committed to ensuring a constructive and friendly discussion.

Registration and Travel

Registration has closed. See the Travel page for information about the Signia by Hilton venue and getting to San Jose.

NWAV50 is also pleased to offer travel awards for graduate students in sociolinguistics from underrepresented backgrounds. Find more information on the Travel Awards page.

ASL Interpretation

The deadline for requesting ASL interpretation at NWAV 50 was September 21. If you nevertheless plan to attend NWAV50 in person and require ASL interpretation, please email us at, and we will do our best to accommodate you.


Please contact the Organizing Committee at with any questions.

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