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Graduate student travel awards now being offered for NWAV50!

NWAV50 is now offering travel awards for graduate students in sociolinguistics and related disciplines from underrepresented backgrounds. The deadline to nominate a student is September 23, 2022.

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.

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 is now open. See the Travel page for information about the Signia by Hilton venue and getting to San Jose. NOTE: The conference block is nearly full, and the conference rate will not be available after September 26.

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

If you plan to attend NWAV50 in person and need ASL interpretation, please email us at as soon as possible (and no later than September 21) so that we can make the necessary arrangements. 


Please contact the Organizing Committee at with any questions.

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