Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Call for papers: 1st Conference on Pokémonastics

Date: 26-May-2018 - 27-May-2018 
Location: Tokyo, Japan 
Contact Person: Shigeto Kawahara
Web Site: 

Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics; Phonology; Psycholinguistics

Call Deadline: 23-Mar-2018 

Meeting Description:

The First Conference on Pokémonastics is to be held at Keio University from May 26 (Sat) to 27 (Sun). 

Recent studies (“Pokémonastics”) have identified sound symbolic relationships in Japanese Pokémon names (Kawahara et al, to appear; Kawahara & Kumagai to appear). More specifically, both mora counts and number of voiced obstruents in their name seem to, albeit stochastically, affect Pokémon characters’ size, weight, and strength parameters. Vowel quality in initial syllables seems to have a tangible effect as well. 

A natural question that arises is whether these sorts of sound symbolic patterns hold in Pokemon names in other languages. Another open question is whether there are other types of sound symbolic patterns. 

We invite researchers addressing these questions in English, Chinese and Russian. Our hope is that based on cross-linguistic Pokémonastic research we can explore important questions about sound-meaning relationship in natural languages, such as language-specificity and universality of sound symbolism. 

The conference also features talks by the invited speakers that are not related to Pokemonastics. We also intend to have poster sessions by researchers in Japan on topics related to Pokémonastics or otherwise. See call for papers for details. 

In summary, this conference will have three main themes: 

Pokémonastic talks on several languages 
Non-Pokémonastics talks by invited speakers 
Poster sessions that we hope would facilitate international communication between researchers in Japan and invited speakers. (Non-invited, non-Japanese-residing researchers are of course welcome). 
Place: Keio University, Mita Campus 

Acknowledgments: This research is supported by JSPS Grant # 17K13448 to Shigeto Kawahara, and Keio research grants to Shigeto Kawahara and Yasuyo Minagawa.

2nd Call for Papers: 

We welcome abstract submissions for poster presentations. A poster session will be held both on Saturday and Sunday. We hope the poster sessions to be great opportunities for presenters to interact with the distinguished international invited scholars. 

The deadline for abstract submission is March 23, 2018 (extended). Authors will be notified of the outcome roughly within a week. 

Submissions should either be: 

- Projects on sound symbolism, ideally something that is related to the Pokémonastic enterprise (but not necessarily) and any projects on phonetics and/or phonology. 

At the top of the abstract please specify: 

- Your name 
- Your affiliation 
- Whether you’re a student or already have PhD 
- Whether your presentation is on (a) sound symbolism or (b) general phonetics/phonology 

The evaluation of the abstracts will be conducted internally by the conference committee members. 

Authors may be the first or sole author of at most one abstract, and may be a non-first co-author of any number of abstracts. 

The maximum length for an abstract is 1 page (A4 or US letter size), including tables, figures, and references. Abstract text must be in English, in a 12-point or larger font. 

Please send your abstract in the PDF format to

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