International Conference on the Evolution of Language (Evolang) 2024

May 18-21
Madison, WI

Conference Details

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EVOLANG is the largest international meeting for researchers working on the origin and evolution of language. The conference is highly interdisciplinary, with contributions from disciplines including, but not limited to: anthropology, archeology, biology, cognitive science, genetics, linguistics, computational modeling (including mathematical, agent-based, and neural-network models), paleontology, physiology, primatology, philosophy, semiotics, and psychology. Typically, about 300 delegates attend, with representatives from all these disciplines.

The conference language will be English. We will have ASL interpreters on hand for providing interpreting to/from ASL (other sign languages may be a possibility) To gauge demand for interpreting services, please complete this survey if you think you could benefit from sign language interpreting.

Registration is now open!

If you are an undergraduate student, or a graduate student in the Midwest (e.g., WI, MN, MI, IN, IL, IA), we are able to offer a limited number of discounted registrations. Please complete this form and we will send you instructions for a discounted registration.

EVOLANG XV starts in

Plenary Speakers

Image of invited plenary speaker Marieke Schouwstra from University of Amsterdam
Marieke Schouwstra
University of Amsterdam
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Image of invited plenary speaker Nick Enfield from University of Sydney
Nick Enfield

University of Sydney
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Image of invited plenary speaker Marie Coppola from University of Connecticut
Marie Coppola
University of Connecticut
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Image of invited plenary speaker Salikoko Mufwene from University of Chicago
Salikoko Mufwene
University of Chicago
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Image of invited plenary speaker Nicole Creanza from Vanderbilt University
Nicole Creanza
Vanderbilt University
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Workshops (May 18th)

  • Large-scale computational approaches to evolution and change: prospects and pitfalls (9:15am-12pm; 1:15pm-4pm - Meeting Room QR)
  • Andres Karjus (, Nina Tahmasebi (, Haim Dubossarsky (, Stefano De Pascale (
  • Info and schedule
  • Interactive alignment in the evolution of vocal communication (9:15am-12pm - Meeting Room MN)
  • Julia Hyland Bruno ( and Olga Fehér (
  • Info and schedule
  • What is children’s role in shaping language evolution? (9:15am-12pm - Meeting Room OP)
  • Shira Tal (, Jennifer Culbertson ( )
  • Info and schedule
  • Causal approaches to investigating language evolution: New studies of the association between phonology and climate (9:15am-12pm - Meeting Room KL)
  • Seán Roberts ( and Frederik Hartmann (
  • Info and schedule
  • EMOLANG: What can communicative signals of positive emotions tell us about the evolution of language? (12pm-4pm - Meeting Room OP)
  • Heidi Lyn (, Erica Cartmill (
  • Info and schedule
  • What allows human language? a multidisciplinary perspective (1:15pm-4pm - Meeting Room MN)
  • Nicolas Claidière ( Speakers include Inbal Arnon, Tecumseh Fitch, Simon Kirby, Susan Goldin Meadow, Simon Fisher, Limor Raviv, Kazuo Okanoya, Lucie Wolters, and Liran Carmel
  • Info and schedule
  • Comparative turn-taking: A new approach to tackle language origins (1:15pm-4pm - Meeting Room KL)
  • Fanny Tibesar (, Simone Pika (
  • Info and schedule

    Presenter Information

    Podium Presentations:
    Talks will be organized into 4 parallel sessions in adjacent rooms. To facilitate a smooth transition between presentations and allow attendees to switch sessions easily, please adhere strictly to the allocated time for your talk.
    Presentation Time: Each speaker is allotted 15 minutes for their presentation, followed by 7 minutes for questions and answers.
    Please plan on using your own laptop for presenting. We will have laser pointers and remotes available for use, or you are free to use your own. We will have HDMI and USB-C connections available. If you require a different connection, please bring a dongle.

    Poster Dimensions & Formats:
    Overall Poster Board Size: Our poster boards are wide, measuring 91 inches (231 cm) in width and 44.75 inches (113.6 cm) in height. Please design your poster to fit within these dimensions. A poster spanning this entire area would be quite large, and you may want to print it at a somewhat smaller size.
    Wide (Landscape) Format:
    If you print an A0 size landscape-oriented poster (46.8 × 33.1 inches or 118.8 x 84.1 cm), it will take up about half the poster board area.
    Long (Portrait) Format:
    Maximum Height: Do not exceed the height of the poster boards, which is 44 inches (111.7 cm). Note: The portrait format offers less display area compared to the landscape format often used at conferences.

    Poster Content & Design Tips:
    Ensure your poster is readable from a distance. Use large fonts and clear, concise language.
    Include your poster title, author(s), affiliation(s), and a brief abstract at the top.
    Use visuals (charts, graphs, images) to complement your text and highlight key findings.
    Consider the flow of information; organize your content logically from left to right and top to bottom.
    You may want to add a QR code to a digital version, print handout versions and/or make a signup sheet for people wanting more details.

    The poster session is scheduled for 5:30pm-7:15pm on Sunday May 19th. You will be able to put up your poster after noon on that day. Please take it down after the poster session concludes. Be present at your poster during the assigned poster session times to discuss your work with attendees.

    Flash Talks: If you have an accepted poster and would like to give a 90 seconds flash talk prior to the poster session, please submit this form. We recommend giving a flash talk as an opportunity to promote your poster and increase its visibility. The deadline to register your flash talk is May 1st.
    The flash talk session will take place right before the poster session/reception in the afternoon of May 19th. Each speaker will have 90 seconds and one static slide. We will get in touch a week or so before the conference to ask for your slide so that we can host it on a single computer since there won’t be time to switch computers in between presentations.


    Local Organizing Committee

  • Gary Lupyan (Local organizer)
  • Robert Hawkins (Liaison to Scientific Committee)
  • Magdalen Stone (Logistics Assistant)
  • Zachary Studdiford (Technical Assistant)
  • Scientific Committee

  • Limor Raviv (chair)
  • Jonas Nölle (chair)
  • Kirstie Graham
  • Yannick Jadoul
  • Mathilde Josserand
  • Stefan Hartmann
  • Theresa Matzinger
  • Katie Mudd
  • Michael Pleyer
  • Anita Slonimska
  • Slawomir Wacewicz
  • Stuart Watson
  • -->


    Welcome to Madison!

    Madison (pop. ~272k) is the capital of Wisconsin and the home of University of Wisconsin's flagship campus. The conference will be held at the Monona Terrace--a beautiful conference venue designed by Frank Lloyd Wright on the shores of Lake Monona. We invite you to take advantage of this time away from your daily lives to catch up on the latest developments in the field and to deepen your appreciation of the amazing research being done in the language evolution community. We also invite you to consider how our work may be a force for positive change back in the real world. We hope you will take us up on these invitations--in the conference hall, at the lively Union Terrace, at the Saturday farmer’s market on the Capitol Square, and at the many fine eating and drinking establishments nearby. We will also be planning several excursions after the main conference.

    Fly to Madison

    We recommend flying into Dane County Regional Airport (MSN) which has nonstop flights to many major cities around the country and has the benefit of being just 10 minutes from downtown Madison. From MSN, you can get to downtown using a taxi, Uber, or Lyft.

    MSN →
    Fly to Milwaukee

    Another option is to fly to Milwaukee (MKE), a slightly larger airport, about 80 miles East of Madison. Milwaukee has more flights and depending on your origin may be cheaper. There's a direct bus from MKE to Madison, but make sure to check the bus schedule first.

    Bus Info → 🚌
    Fly to Chicago

    Another option, which may make sense if you're traveling internationally, is to fly to Chicago's O'Hare airport (ORD, about 130 miles Southeast of Madison) and take a bus to Madison (~3hrs, but is sometimes faster than connecting to a flight to Madison).

    Bus Info → 🚌


    (Update on 4/30 - the Hilton Monona Terrace hotel room block is no longer available (regular-rate rooms are still available). The hotel will let us know if any rooms become available at the conference rate. In the meantime, you can book a room at the nearby Park Hotel Madison for the conference rate). If you are still trying to arrange room-sharing, please contact Gary Lupyan for information.

    Image of the Monona Convention Center in Madison, Wisconsin
    Aerial image of downtown Madison, Wisconsin
    Photo of the Memorial Union Terrace overlooking Lake Mendota in Madison, Wisconsin
    View of the State St. Pedestrian Mall in Madison, Wisconsin