PARLAY Conferences

by Maria-Margarita Makri (Linguistics and Language Sciences Pathway, University of York)

PARLAY is an international student network for linguistics based at the University of York. Through an annual conference held in September, it aims to bring together researchers not solely affiliated with linguistics departments, giving them the opportunity to familiarize themselves with different perspectives on language research and to initiate new and innovative collaborations. As a forum for postgraduates and early career researchers the PARLAY network aims to promote knowledge sharing amongst a wider academic audience.

Linguistics refers to the study of language. This definition is an umbrella term for a broad spectrum of research which varies in terms of the research questions asked and the methodologies used. Linguistic intersects with many other fields in social sciences, the humanities and even hard sciences, for example in subfields such as language teaching, computational linguistics, discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, biolinguistics, psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics, cognitive linguistics, forensics to name a few. PARLAY gives researchers with common interests, who would otherwise be isolated in different departments, the opportunity to discuss their ideas and build new collaborations.


parlayPARLAY 2014 took place on Friday 12th September 2014 at the Humanities Research Center, University of York. The conference attracted more than 80 delegates and involved 48 oral and poster presentations by postgraduate and early career researchers. Professor Peter Sells (University of York) and Dr John Williams (University of Cambridge) were the plenary speakers at the conference, selected for their world-leading research that falls both within different fields of linguistics and within different theoretical frameworks. Their selection served a strategic objective of the PARLAY conferences, namely the cross-fertilization of ideas between different linguistic and linguistic-related fields. Dr John Williams presented his crossdisciplinary research on implicit and statistical learning and how these learning mechanisms are applied to language and other cognitive systems. On the other hand, Professor Peter Sells unveiled some universal properties of noun modifying constructions by drawing a comparison across different languages. Christopher Tancock from the world-renowned publishing house Elsevier facilitated the first of the Publishing Connect Workshop Series which we hope to continue in future conferences, providing a useful insight into the publication process. Finally, during the drinks reception that followed the conference, Speakwithit showcased how linguistic research based applications can be used for the benefit of our society.

Future Activities

We are now preparing a proceedings volume that will include papers based on all the high-quality research presented due to PARLAY 2014. This will give members of the network the opportunity to apply the skills they acquired in the publishing workshop of PARLAY 2014 and disseminate their research to a wider academic audience.

Our next event, PARLAY 2015 will take place on 11th September 2015 and will feature talks by Professors Leah Roberts (University of York) and Andrew Linn (University of Sheffield).

To participate you may:

  • submit an abstract and present your research at PARLAY 2015
  • participate in PARLAY 2015 as a delegate
  • organise PARLAY 2016

For more information you can find us on