Publications of LSAThe mission of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA) is to advance the scientific study of language. The LSA aspires to a world in which the essential nature of language and its central role in human life is well understood. The LSA has adopted a Long-Range Strategic Plan to guide the Society in achieving its mission. The primary goals of the strategic plan are to advance the mission of the Society via: scholarly communication; community building; professional development; and external relations. The current plan is being updated by a Strategic Planning Committee that will prepare recommendations to our Executive Committee. The programs of the LSA are focused in the following areas:

Publications

Language

The LSA publishes a quarterly journal, Language, consisting of major articles and shorter research reports, as well as review articles and book reviews. Journal articles cover all areas of the field from all theoretical frameworks. Articles featured in online-only sections are published throughout the year: Teaching LinguisticsLanguage and Public PolicyPhonological Analysis, Research Reports and Perspectives.

Semantics and Pragmatics

Semantics and Pragmatics, an online, open-access journal, publishes new research of interest to those working in semantics and pragmatics which demonstrate clear significance for theoretical development of those areas.

Phonological Data and Analysis

Phonological Data and Analysis publishes original, high-quality research papers distinguished by a particularly detailed examination of phonological patterns. The journal's aim is to encourage scholarship grounded in substantive data that contributes to the revelation, clarification, and testing of phonological generalizations, or of the theories designed to account for them.

eLanguage Archive

The eLanguage Archive offers a digital "family" of independent, specialized journals that publish peer-reviewed research articles, conference proceedings, and book notices. All content published in eLanguage is freely available on an "open access" basis.

Conference Proceedings

The LSA publishes Proceedings of its Annual Meeting (formerly Extended Abstracts), and currently co-publishes the proceedings of the Annual Meetings in Phonology (AMP), and Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT). The LSA also host an archive of the Proceedings of the Berkeley Linguistic Society (BLS) from 1975-2014.

Other Publications (highlights listed below)

Meetings and Institutes

Annual Meetings

In early January, the LSA holds its Annual Meeting, at which over 300 papers and posters are typically presented. Special events include the Presidential Address, invited lectures, topical workshops, and the LSA Business Meeting. There is also a book exhibit and a job placement service. Other groups that meet concurrently with the LSA are the American Dialect Society (ADS), the American Name Society (ANS), the North American Association for the History of the Language Sciences (NAAHoLS), the North American Research Network in Historical Sociolinguistics (NARNiHS), the Society for Pidgin and Creole Linguistics, the Society for Computation in Linguistics (SCiL), and the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas (SSILA). Read more about past, upcoming and future Annual Meetings, and find out more about what goes into planning a meeting here.

Linguistic Institutes

The LSA sponsors a month-long Linguistic Institute during odd-numbered summers at which hundreds of participants choose from a wide range of courses, seminars, and workshops presented by leading scholars in virtually every area of linguistics. With courses offered at all levels, Institute attendees can explore new areas or catch up on recent developments in areas not offered at their home institutions.   Click here to find out more about past and future Institutes, fellowship opportunities, and more. 

North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO)

The North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad is a contest in which high-school students solve linguistic puzzles. In solving these puzzles, students learn about the diversity and consistency of language, while exercising logic skills. No prior knowledge of linguistics or second languages is necessary. The competition has attracted top students to study and work in those same fields. No background in linguistics is required to participate.

The LSA has long been a sponsor of NACLO, and since 2015 has expanded its support to include in-kind contributions of  promotion and outreach for the event. 

To read more about NACLO and to find out how to register or how to host a test site, click here.

CoLang: The Institute on Collaborative Language Research

The LSA co-sponsors an Institute on Collaborative Language Research in even-numbered summers which provides an opportunity for community language activists and linguists to receive training in community-based language documentation and revitalization. Instructors include some of the world’s leading experts in language documentation. Click here to read more about past and future CoLangs, fellowship opportunities, and more.

SALT

Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) is the field's premier semantics conference. In 2016, the LSA established an agreement with the organizers of the conference to serve as a long-term co-sponsor of this important event. Since 2009, the LSA has been hosting the online version of the entire run of the SALT Proceedings (Vol 1-27). Beginning with the 2017 SALT conference, the LSA has served as an official co-sponsor, providing online infrastructure, conference registration and marketing assistance.  Click here to read more about the LSA and SALT, about past and upcoming conferences, and about the SALT Proceedings.  


Advocacy

Support the LSA's Advocacy Agenda

The LSA is mobilizing to face a number of unprecedented challenges, among them difficulties faced by our members in conducting research due to the travel and immigration ban proposed by the Trump Administration; a threatened boycott of academic meetings in the US for the same reason, and threats to major funders of linguistics research such as the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The LSA's advocacy agenda is achieved through its partnerships with many organizations and stakeholders in the policy arena. To ensure funding and representation at federal, state and local levels, LSA officers and staff participate in the efforts of groups such as the Consortium of Social Science Associations, the Coalition for National Science Funding, the Collaborative for Social and Behavioral Sciences, the Joint National Committee on Languages, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Humanities Alliance. More detailed information about the LSA's partnership with the NHA can be found here. The LSA also maintains reciprocal relationships with other professional societies, such as the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, that share our commitment to scholarly research and the need for adequate public support of such work. Our international involvement includes participating in the General Assembly of the Comité International Permanent des Linguistes (CIPL) [Permament International Committee of Linguists], which consists of around 50 national and international linguistics organizations world-wide.

The LSA issues official statements and resolutions on issues of interest to the public and the profession while working to inform the news media, academics, and other scientists about the role of languages and linguistics in society. Several of its committees, such as the Committee on Endangered Languages and their Preservation (CELP) and the Committee on Public Policy engage in significant advocacy work. The LSA is also home to a special interest group for LGBTQ+ Issues in Linguistics that seeks to meet the needs of LGBTQ+ individuals in the field of linguistics.

Professional Resources and Recognition

The LSA serves as a resource for the linguistics profession, and advocates for its policy and research agenda. Professional development programming is offered at our Meetings and Institutes, on our website, and through the work of various LSA committees throughout the year. LSA Committees focused on professional issues and resources include:

The LSA recognizes the professional contributions of linguists and others to enhancing public understanding and in advancing the discipline of linguists through a series of awards. These include the Leonard Bloomfield Book Award; the Linguistics, Language, and the Public Award, the Linguistic Service Award, the Kenneth L. Hale Award, the Linguistic Journalism Award, the Excellence in Community Linguistics Award, the Best Paper in Language Award, the Early Career Award, Student Abstract Awards, and the Victoria A. Fromkin Lifetime Service Award.

The LSA website houses a broad array of resources and information on a variety of professional topics and items of interest. These include job listings, a news service, a book exchange, an academic depository of curriculum materials, publisher's discounts, information for students, and links to external resources. The archives of the LSA include paper records of the Society dating back to the earliest days of the Society in 1924.

Finally, the LSA supports networking activities among linguists and other language professionals through its website, its committee activities, and through academic and professional development activities at its Annual Meeting and summer Institutes.

Public Education

The LSA is committed to increasing public understanding about the role and value of language to our society. We accomplish this by developing and disseminating materials on our own and on other websites, and through printed brochures, media interviews, and other forms of public outreach. The LSA's News Stories Initiative, launched in 2014, is intended to improve coverage of linguistics research in the popular news media. The Society publishes two guidebooks for linguists interested in public education and outreach efforts: Linguistics and the News Media: An LSA Guide for Linguists and Taking Linguistics to the Public: An Outreach Guide. The LSA produces news releases and media advisories publicizing research featured in its peer-reviewed journals and at its Annual Meetings. The Society also encourages its meeting presenters to participate in the Five-Minute Linguist contest, which judges their ability to explain the value of their research to a lay audience. The Society maintains a database of linguistic experts on a wide variety of topics for use by the news media and other interested parties.

The LSA publishes a series of educational and authoritative materials on language-related issues. FAQs are currently available online (pdf). Clearly written for the layperson, they have been used as instructional aids in Linguistics courses, information sessions for undergraduate majors, and in outreach to professionals outside of the field. Articles on the "Domain of Linguistics" provide more in-depth descriptions of the various sub-fields encompassed by the academic discipline of linguistics.

The LSA maintains three committees focused on public education activities:

  • The Committee on Language in the School Curriculum explores and pursues ways in which the linguistics community can have an effect on K-12 instruction in language-related topics, including grammar, reading, language arts, and linguistics.
  • The Public Relations Committee works to inform the news media about the relevance of linguistics research to societal well-being and its application to everyday living.
  • The Advanced Placement Linguistics Committee works to develop a successful proposal to the College Board for the creation of a high-school AP course and exam through forming partnerships with interested students, teachers, faculty, and school systems.

The LSA website includes information for the general public on a wide range of topics, including information for prospective students considering an undergraduate major in linguistics.