Conference Details

The Evolang conference series provides the major meeting for researchers worldwide in the origins and evolution of language. The Evolang conferences are interdisciplinary, with contributions from disciplines including, but not limited to: anthropology, archeology, artificial life, biology, cognitive science, genetics, linguistics, modeling, paleontology, physiology, primatology, and psychology. Typically, about 300 delegates attend, with representatives from all these disciplines.

Normal standards of academic excellence apply. Submitted papers should aim to make clear their own substantive claim, relating this to relevant scientific literature, and briefly setting out the method by which the claim is substantiated, the nature of the relevant data, and/or the core of the theoretical argument concerned. Submissions may be theory-based, but empirical studies should not rest on preliminary results. All submissions are refereed by at least three relevant referees, and acceptance is based on a scoring scheme pooling the reports of the referees. In recent conferences, the acceptance rate has been about 50%. The conference showcases both oral presentations and poster presentations.

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With great regret we are announcing that EvoLang 2020 is cancelled due to the ongoing global coronavirus outbreak. We do not take this decision lightly and understand the impact it will have on many of you who have already made travel plans, or who were relying on the conference in order to present and discuss your work. We will be refunding your conference fees in full.

There were many factors we took into account when making this decision. There is of course some doubt we would have physically been able to hold the conference, given how fast moving the situation is. However, in the end we felt that, even if we were able to hold the conference, it would have been a much reduced affair, and would have excluded a lot of people who were restricted from travelling either by advice from their government, their university, or due to individual health concerns. In addition, there is a general feeling that limiting non-essential public gatherings, especially where they involve substantial travel, is a good thing to do in order to spread out impact on health care systems.

We think the work that was due to be presented at EvoLang 2020 is of an outstanding calibre and we hope to be able to find some way of giving that work the outlet it deserved - perhaps with a rescheduled conference in a year’s time. We cannot make that decision right now, but will keep you posted on any developments along those lines.

We want to thank all the people who have been working so hard towards EvoLang 2020, and who will be bitterly disappointed that it is not taking place: the local organising committee, the scientific committee, workshop organisers, reviewers, plenary speakers, and of course researchers like yourself who chose this as the place to tell the community about your work. We hope we will meet again soon.

Simon Kirby, Erica Cartmill (co-chairs)
Bart de Boer (local organiser)

Dates: April 14-17, 2020 CANCELLED
Venue: Brussels, Belgium
Details: Conference website
Workshop proposals deadline: June 1 extended to June 15, notification by: August 1
Abstract submission deadline: September 1 extended to September 15

conference organizational cycle

This is the general cycle for the conference, but for details on a specific conference please see its dedicated webpage.

  • Evolang takes place every two years, in March or April of even-numbered years, over three days (two half days and two full days).
  • The call for submissions goes out in the early months of the preceding year.
  • The deadline for submissions is in August or September of the preceding year.
  • Acceptance notifications are sent between November and December of the preceding year.
  • The conference announcement, with provisional programme, is made in January of the year of the conference.