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The Virginia Area Linguistics (VALING) Conference 
Hosted virtually by William & Mary
Saturday, April 17, 2021                         


About | Registration | Program | Important Dates | Info for Attendees and Presenters | Contact


VALING is a research conference dedicated to promoting the study of linguistics by undergraduates in Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic area. Research in any linguistic discipline is welcome, including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, field work, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, language acquisition, etc. We hope to have a wide range of topics and voices represented.

The conference will be hosted virtually by William & Mary. The format will involve a series of full 20-min talks and 5-min "micro talks" (poster equivalent) organized by topic, and a keynote talk by the invited speaker. 

Registration is FREE for all participants! (including presenters and attendees).

Invited Speaker

Katie Carmichael (Virginia Tech)


Abstract submission has closed!


Registration is free for all participants (including presenters and attendees). Click here to register.


Click here for the abstract booklet.

8:45 - 9:00 AM Organizing Committee
Phonetics and Phonology
9:00 - 9:30 AM Abram Clear (William & Mary) Cross-Dialectal Vowel Mapping and Glide Perception
9:30 - 9:40 AM Emma Saunders, Jessie Yu, Lily Carroll, Nicole DeFoor, & Abby Walker (Virginia Tech) Spot the (d/t)difference: Examining sensitivity to negative lag voicing across US dialects
9:40 - 9:50 AM Elizabeth Maneval, Michael T. Compton & Anya Hogoboom (William & Mary) Quantifying Dimensions of Vowel Space in Patients with Schizophrenia and Controls
9:50 - 10:00 
10:00 - 10:30 AM Madeleine Wade (William & Mary) The Supportive Influence of Semantics on Morphosyntactic Comprehension
10:30 - 10:40 AM Antonio Cardoso, Donte Lowman, Leslie Gaines, & Matthew W. Lowder (University of Richmond) The student presented to the student: Effects of lexical repetition and syntactic structure on sentence processing
10:40 - 10:50 AM Adrian Zhou & Matthew W. Lowder (University of Richmond) “Reading a book, the dog barked”: Prominence Hierarchy and the Acceptability of Dangling Modifiers
10:50 - 11:00 AM Celia Metzger, Anya Hogoboom, Michael Covington, & Michael Compton (William & Mary) Linguistic Measures of Symptomatology in Schizophrenia
11:00 - 11:10 AM Gwynna Ryan & Matthew W. Lowder (University of Richmond) Retrieval interference in the processing of RCs: Evidence from the visual-world paradigm
Language Acquisition
11:10 - 11:40 AM Abby Fergus (William & Mary) The development of vowel length as a subphonemic cue
11:40 - 11:50 AM Caitlin McDermott (Georgetown University) TBA
11:50 - Noon Kostas Anastasakis (George Mason University) Comparing the Etymological Makeup of Juvenile and Preadolescent Vocabulary
Noon - 1 PM
Syntax and Field Methods
1:00 - 1:30 PM Joshua Higdon (University of Richmond) Verb Regularity Predicts Spanish Heritage Speakers’ Mood Morphology Production
1:30 - 1:40 PM Shayley Martin (Yale University) Labovian variation in Appalachian English verbs as an Optional Pruning rule
1:40 - 2:10 PM Katherine Jovanovski (Georgetown University) Vratničći: A descriptive grammar
2:10 - 2:15 PM
2:15 - 2:45 PM Kathleen Walker (Virginia Tech) “Jar Jar is the Key to All This”: The Use of Ethnicity, Dialect, and Othering in Star Wars Episode I – The Phantom Menace
2:45 - 2:55 PM Sara Carter (Virginia Tech) America or America? A study of topic-based shifting in a US expat in London.
2:55 - 3:05 PM Jessie Yu, Jessie Yu, Lily Carroll, Nicole DeFoor, Julia Greenman, Joe Harrison, Charlotte Koogle, Leilani Leung, Molly Purtill, Emma Saunders, Jessica Taylor, & Abby Walker (Virginia Tech) Captioning chefs: Examining ideologies of intelligibility through selective subtitles in Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
3:05 - 3:15 PM Caroline Chuah (Michigan State University) Going Down Down: Use of “punk” accent features across pop punk and pop genre albums
3:15 - 3:45 PM Lily Carroll (Virginia Tech ) Give It to Me Straight: The Implications of the HONESTY IS STRAIGHT Metaphor on Perceptions of Sexuality
3:45 - 3:55 PM Emma Hilt (Virginia Tech) Media Isn’t Your Friend: Ethnicity and Language Subordination in the television show Friends
3:55 - 4:05 PM Anisha Vanka (William & Mary) Smart, Reliable, Understandable: Exploring Language Attitudes Toward Indian English Speakers
4:05 - 4:15 PM
Keynote Talk
4:15 - 5:15 PM Katie Carmichael (Virginia Tech) The intersection of race, place, and language change in post-Katrina New Orleans
Important dates
  • Abstract submission deadline: Monday, March 1, 2021
  • Notification of acceptance: Monday, March 15, 2021
  • Registration opens: Monday, March 22, 2021
  • Registration deadline: Friday, April 16, 2021
  • Conference: Saturday, April 17, 2021
Information for Attendees and Presenters

The conference will be held on Zoom. Below is the Zoom link and password to join.

Information for Presenters

Full talks are provided 20 minutes for the presentation plus 10 minutes for questions. Micro talks are provided 5 minutes for the presentation plus 5 minutes for questions. 

Before your session, double check that you have your presentation/slide file open and ready to share on Zoom. When it is your time to present, the session chair will introduce your talk and ask you to share your screen. We suggest sharing just the application window, full screen for your presentation. If you are sharing audio or video with sound, make sure to click the check box ‘Share computer sound’ at the bottom left on the pop up window where you select what to share. Make sure to unmute yourself before speaking.

For full talks, the session chair will give you a 5-minute, 2-minute, and 0-minute remaining time alert by holding up a sign to their camera. For micro-talks, the session chair will give a 2-minute and 0-minute alert in the same manner. We recommend pinning the session chair's video so that you can see the alerts. For the Q&A period, the session chair will handle calling on attendees, and reading questions from the chat.

Contact information

For more information, please contact conference organizers Dan Parker ( or Kate Harrigan (