24th International Conference on Historical Linguistics (ICHL24)

24th International Conference on Historical Linguistics (ICHL24)

International Conference on Historical Linguistics (ICHL)

1-5 July 2019

Australian National University, Canberra, Australia 

We are pleased to invite you to the 24th biennial conference of the International Society for Historical Linguistics. Continuing and expanding a proud tradition, the upcoming ICHL24 will present both renowned and exciting new voices in the many domains of the field, including methods and practices of reconstruction, formal approaches to change, historical sociolinguistics and contact linguistics.

While featuring languages from across the world, in the International Year of Indigenous Languages, ICHL24 will highlight the very diverse languages and language families of our region, especially those of Australia, mainland Southeast Asia and New Guinea. With a truly multi-disciplinary focus, the conference will also showcase new advances in computational and phylogenetic approaches to historical linguistics, and new ways of placing the field within trans-disciplinary understandings of the human past.

The program

Over five days, the packed program will include seven concurrent sessions daily, ten intensive workshops, seven plenary presentations, and social activities with a distinctive local flavour.

The keynote addresses underline the trans-disciplinary nature of the gathering. Prominent language variation expert Anita Auer will speak on the emergence of Standard English; Johann-Mattis List from a Max Planck Institute will take participants through problem-solving strategies in computational historical linguistics; while Chris Ballard, an ANU Pacific historian, will present a series of Melanesian case studies to ask what history can say about the evolution of contemporary language diversity.


The breadth of workshops during ICHL24 will showcase presenters and facilitators driving forward contemporary historical linguistics, representing a great variety of fields, experiences and career paths. Over three days, Max Planck Institute scientists Simon Greenhill, Russell Gray, Johann-Mattis List, Robert Forkel and others will explicate the latest in computational and phylogenetic methods. Luisa Miceli, Mark Ellison and colleagues will compare linguistic and biological phylogenies in the context of Oceania – can they be reconciled? A new generation of younger researchers will take participants on a two-day tour of the history of Papuan languages and their speakers.


The conference website contains essential (and quite a bit of extra) information about travelling to Australia, accommodation options in its picturesque capital city, and of course – the social calendar. This includes three optional cultural excursions on the afternoon of third day, led by expert local guides.

Hurry early bird registration closes on 31 May!


Date & time

Mon 01 Jul 2019, 9am – Fri 05 Jul 2019, 5pm


University House, ANU, Acton 2601



Updated:  22 October 2019/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications