“Experimental and Empirical Approaches to Politeness and Impoliteness”, the third in a series of international conferences dedicated to Linguistic Impoliteness and Rudeness (LIAR III) and the first one to be hosted in the US, took place at the Levis Faculty Center of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign between August 29 and 31, 2012. A volume with papers from the conference has now appeared from John Benjamins' AILA series.


Scholars from 15 countries, in addition to the US, travelled to Urbana for the conference, including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, and Turkey, making this a truly global, as well as interdisciplinary conference. In total, 116 participants pre-registered for the conference, of whom 72 were non-local and 44 were UIUC affiliates. An estimated 130 faculty and students attended the conference.


The conference program consisted of six plenary talks and 42 regular papers, as well as five posters, for a total 53 presentations. The conference opened at 5pm on Wednesday, August 29, with welcoming remarks by the Deans of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Ruth Watkins, and Education, Mary Kalantzis, as well as the Head of the Department of Linguistics, James Yoon; and closed on Friday, August 31, at 3.30pm with a closing roundtable discussion sponsored by the IPRH and featuring the six plenary speakers as well as invited discussant Prof. Harry Triandis (UIUC Psychology; Emeritus) and convener Prof. Marina Terkourafi (UIUC Linguistics; Conference Chair). The full conference booklet can also be found under the conference program link.

Online component

The six plenary talks were streamed live by ATLAS and watched in real time by over 300 people in different parts of the world. They are now archived online and remain available to watch at the Plenary Videos link. In addition to the plenary talks, two of the presentations were given over Skype by scholars in China and India. A dedicated conference facebook page has also been regularly updated with news about the conference and hosts conference photos.

Travel awards

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Michael Furman, Kris Helincks, Jason Quinley, and Jessica Soltys, the four student presenters who received travel awards to the conference selected on the basis of the quality of the submitted abstracts.

Book display

A book display run for the duration of the conference to which the following publishers were represented: Brill, Cambridge University Press, and John Benjamins. Books and journal issues displayed are being donated to the Linguistics Reading Room after the conference.

Student and faculty participation

Several UIUC faculty and students responded to the call to contribute to the conference in various ways, including serving on the conference organizing committee, serving as session chairs (Georgia Green, Rakesh Bhatt, Numa Markee, Makoto Hayashi), working for the conference (Matt Garley, Nyssa Bulkes, Dabin Zhang) and acting as student volunteers (Tim Mahrt, Amelia Kimball, Kate Lyons, Lori Moon, Tatiana Luchkina, Abdelaadim Bidaoui, Andrew Hinderliter, Iftikhar Haider). We would like to take this opportunity to thank them all!

NSF award and publication plans

In addition to 10 campus sponsoring units and 3 corporate sponsors, the conference was awarded a competitive conference support award by the National Science Foundation (P.I. Marina Terkourafi, Co-P.I.: Kiel Christianson). This award will be primarily used to support a graduate Research Assistant to help in the publication of an edited volume of selected papers from the conference.