Thank you to all our attendees for a very enjoyable and productive conference! Presenters’ posters and powerpoints/handouts will be made available online in the near future at the main AWLL site. A selection of papers from the conference will be published in a special issue of ‘Written Language and Literacy‘ – presenters will be sent information about submissions for this in due course. Information on the next AWLL conference will also be advertised via the newsletter.


For a PDF of the presenters’ abstracts, please click here.

Day 1: Tuesday March 26 2019

08:30-09:10 Registration

09:10-09:30 Opening remarks (Robin Osborne, Chair of the Faculty of Classics; Terry Joyce, President of the Association for Written Language & Literacy; Robert Crellin & Anna Judson, local organisers)

09:30-10:30 Keynote presentation 1: Kathryn Piquette, ‘Developing Integrated Perspectives on Writing Systems’ (Chair: Lynne Cahill)

10:30-11:00 Tea/coffee break

11:00-12:30 Oral session 1 (Chair: Anna Judson)

11:00-11:30 Dimitrios Meletis, ‘How we model writing: The relationship between language, speech, and writing in a universal model of writing’

11:30-12:00 Sven Osterkamp & Gordian Schreiber, ‘<Th>e Ubi<qu>ity of Polygra<ph>y and its Significance for <th>e Typology of <Wr>iti<ng> Systems’

12:00-12:30 Terry Joyce, ‘The significance of the partial versus full writing dichotomy for the typology of writing systems’

12:30-1:30 Lunch

1:30-3:00 Poster session 1

Sarah Finlayson, ‘Writing material matters: a discussion of the use of clay in the Bronze Age Aegean’

Yannis Haralambous, ‘Phonocentrism in Greece: Side effects of two centuries of diglossia’

Keisuke Honda, ‘Modelling kanji as a subsignary of the current Japanese writing system’

Yoolim Kim & Sandra Kotzor, ‘Investigating the “hidden” effects of Hanja script on Korean processing’

Rachel Schiff, Dorit Ravid & Shlomit Rosenshtok, ‘Spelling affix letters in Hebrew: a psycholinguistic outlook’

Karin Westin Tikkanen, ‘Alphabetic adaptations on the Apennine Peninsula’

Mira E. Valkama, ‘Graphisation, representation and inclusion in orthography development’

3:00-4:00 Oral session 2 (Chair: Sonali Nag):

3:00-3:30 Anurag Rimzhim, ‘Transposition Effects Underscore the Alphabetic Nature of Reading Hindi’

3:30-4:00 Amalia Gnanadesikan, ‘Brahmi’s children: variation and stability in a script family’

4:00-4:30 Tea/coffee break

4:30-6:00 Symposium: Research into ancient writing systems at Cambridge (Chair: Natalia Elvira Astoreca)

4:30-4:35 Introduction: Chair

4:35-4:55 Philippa Steele & Robert Crellin, ‘Contextualising writing in the ancient world: two case studies’ (CREWS Project, Faculty of Classics)

4:55-5:15 Ester Salgarella & Anna Judson, ‘Diversity and variation in the writing systems of Bronze Age Greece’ (Mycenaean Epigraphy Group, Faculty of Classics)

5:15-5:35 Imre Galambos, ‘The Chinese script among China’s neighbours’ (Faculty of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies)

5:35-6:00 Discussion

6:00-7:30 Reception (Museum of Classical Archaeology, Faculty of Classics)

Day 2: Wednesday March 27

9:00-10:30 Oral session 3 (Chair: Ester Salgarella):

9:00-9:30 Victoria Beatrix Fendel, ‘The Coptic alphabet: Taking the initiative or seizing an opportunity?’

9:30-10:00 Kelly Minot Rafey, ‘The Character of Writing in Early Modern Shorthand, 1588–1700’

10:00-10:30 Philip Boyes, ‘Multiscriptality and Society in Late Bronze Age Ugarit’

10:30-11:00 Tea/coffee break

11:00-12:00 Keynote presentation 2: Sonali Nag, ‘Emergent and early literacy: how children learn to use a writing system’ (Chair: Terry Joyce)

12:00-1:00 Lunch

1:00-2:30 Poster session 2

Aija Katriina Ahlberg, ‘Changing a writing system: the case of Konso’

Cassandra Donnelly, ‘Regional Pressures in the Formation and Use of Cypro-Minoan’ (presented in absentia)

Hana Jee & Richard Shillcock, ‘Measuring how orthographic form correlates with phonological form’

Hisashi Masuda & Terry Joyce, ‘A database of three-kanji compound words in Japanese, with particular focus on their morphological structures’

Kazuhiro Okada, ‘Diverse standards in the pre-modern Japanese orthography’

Chiara Truppi & Barbara Hans-Bianchi, ‘The emergence of writing in multilingual settings: comparing two case studies’

Martin Uildriks, ‘Markings in Emerging States: What is their Socio-Cultural Context?’ (presented in absentia)

Lieke Verheijen & Tess van der Laan, ‘Is Digi-talk Dangerous? The Effects of Social Media on Dutch Youths’ School Writing’

Małgorzata Zadka, ‘Semasiographic aspects of glottographic writing systems’

2:30-4:00 Oral session 4 (Chair: Robert Crellin):

2:30-3:00 Lynne Cahill, ‘Recording verbatim speech in UK court reporting’

3:00-3:30 Dorit Ravid, Rachel Schiff & Michal Kahanovitch, ‘Root letter spelling in Hebrew: a developmental study in two populations’

3:30-4:00 Des Ryan, ‘How do we know if a spelling is a good fit for a word? Interactions between ‘morphemic’ and ‘phonemic’ spelling’

4:00-4:30 Tea/coffee break

4:30-6:00 Oral session 5 (Chair: Philippa Steele):

4:30-5:00 Daniel Harbour, ‘Grammatical typology predicts writing system evolution: A case study in Sumerosphere and Sinosphere logography’

5:00-5:30 James Myers, ‘The influence of Chinese character form on neighboring orthographic systems’

5:30-6:15 Association for Written Language & Literacy business meeting

7:15 for 7:30 Conference dinner (Selwyn College)


Day 3: Thursday March 28

09:00-10:30 Oral session 6 (Chair: Kathryn Piquette):

09:00-09:30 Christian Prager, ‘What’s in a Sign? Unbridled Aesthetics and Calligraphic Constraints in Classic Maya Palaeography’

09:30-10:00 Sam Butler, ‘Inscribing Communities across the Mediterranean: A Comparative Approach to the Lycian and Oscan Alphabets in the first Millennium BCE’ 

10:00-10:30 Tea/coffee break

10:30-11:30 Oral session 7 (Chair: Dorit Ravid):

10:30-11:00 David Roberts, Matthew Harley & Stephen L. Walter, ‘The contribution of full tone marking to fluency and comprehension in Yoruba and Ife’

11:00-11:30 Maayan Troyansky & David L. Share, ‘Phonological Awareness in the Hebrew Abjad: Consonants, Vowels, and Core Syllables’

11:30-12:00 Panel discussion (led by conference organisers/AWLL committee)

12:00-12:15 Closing remarks (conference organisers)