Long-Range Strategic Plan II: 2014–2018

View the LSA's current plan (2019-2023) here.

Mission: To advance the scientific study of language.

Vision: 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 values inclusiveness both in terms of the linguistics profession, and also in terms of the various sub-specialties and research disciplines that contribute to the vibrancy of linguistic scholarship.

• The LSA values democratic governance and decision-making by, and on behalf of, its members, informed by objective data and available evidence.

• The LSA values the use of current approaches and technologies to serve the emerging needs of the linguistics community and the broader public.

• The LSA values ethical conduct in the pursuit of linguistic scholarship.

• The LSA values peer-review for determining the best linguistics scholarship to publish and present in a variety of contexts.

• The LSA values worldwide linguistic diversity and supports the documentation, preservation and revitalization of languages.

Cross-cutting Principles

• Sustainability…

o Conduct effective needs assessment for new initiatives.

o Evaluate initiatives using cost-benefit analysis for determining continued or expanded support.

o Ensure adequate resources-- financial, intellectual, and otherwise--for conducting ongoing programs and services.

• Visibility and legibility…

o Foster connections to the linguistics community through a broad-based communications strategy that raises awareness of LSA programs and ensures transparency of LSA operations.

• Responsive governance…

o Encourage governance and operational structure (Secretariat, EC, Editorial Offices, Committees, Delegates, Liaisons, etc.) to be responsive to the needs of the membership (and broader linguistics community) and strive to be inclusive by leveraging the interest of the membership in furthering LSA's mission whenever possible.

* Positive Reinforcement...

o Have the core scholarly activities of the LSA be informed by and build upon one another so as to maximize their value and impact for the LSA membership and the broader linguistics community.


The primary goals of the strategic plan are to advance the mission of the Society via:

1. Scholarly communication

a. Establish the LSA as the publisher of leading scholarly content for the discipline of linguistics by:

i. Enhancing Language’s position as the flagship journal for scholarship of relevance to the discipline at large;

ii. Broadening and deepening the coverage of the LSA’s publishing programs;                                                     

iii. Publishing content formerly outside the scope of Language;

iv. Incubating new kinds of scholarly communication

v. Evaluating publications ventures utilizing the LSA Guidelines for New Periodical Content. 

b. Preserve and disseminate scholarly communications produced by other linguistics organizations and institutions 

c. Support the presentation of linguistic research and scholarship via:

i. LSA Annual Meeting;

ii. Workshops at the Linguistic Institute;

iii. New activities to be developed.


2. Community building 

a. Foster the development and maintenance of scholarly networks among linguists by:

i. Sponsoring activities at events that create opportunities for interaction around shared interests;

ii. Maintaining dedicated sections of the website that are serving the needs of the field;

iii. Engaging in targeted communications; 

iv. Utilizing LSA member groups.

b. Develop and sustain resources and practices that strengthen the discipline, and ensure that the LSA is broadly inclusive.

c. Broaden and deepen relationships between the LSA community and other communities that share an interest in language.

d. Support community structures and services that address the professional needs of LSA members and linguists more broadly.


3. Professional development

a. Provide a range of opportunities for supplementary and continuing education for linguists.

b. Provide training, enhance resources, and facilitate mentoring for career advancement.

c. Ensure that professional development offerings reflect the full spectrum of career opportunities for linguists.                        

d. Enable increased participation in LSA activities. Maintain a program of recognizing the accomplishments of LSA members.


4. External relations

a. Engage with key populations in exchanging relevant information about the science of language:

i. Policy-makers (education, STEM, R&D);

ii. Individuals who self-identify as specialists in STEM disciplines;

iii. Broader research and scholarly community: higher education; professional societies; industry.

iv. General public: students (at all levels); educators; news media; speaker communities.

b. Develop external relationships with key groups that:

i. Inform and educate through targeted communications;

ii. Advocate and influence in support of the LSA’s mission; 

iii. Promote dialogue and reciprocal engagement.

c. Maintain a program of external recognition and awards: 

i. Nominate members of the LSA for external awards and other forms of professional recognition.

ii. Confer LSA awards outside the Society to entities making contributions to the discipline.


Adopted by the LSA Executive Committee, February 14, 2014; amended June 27, 2016.