To join the Public Relations Committee email David Robinson, Director of Membership and Meetings.


Established in 2009.


To inform the public about the role of language and linguistics in society, placing particular emphasis on efforts to inform members of the news media, academia, and scientists.


The work of the Committee includes, but is not limited to:

  • Organizing educational programs (webinars, workshops, courses) for journalists.
  • Maintaining a "Press Room"" on the LSA website, to include a roster of experts available for press interviews on different topics. Encourage these experts to write op-eds and other articles intended for a "lay" audience. Consult with the ED on placing these articles in "mainstream" publications.
  • Collaborating with the Editors of Language, eLanguage, and the Chairs of the Program Committee to spotlight significant research of interest to those outside the linguistics community, as published/presented in the current issues and/or meeting. This should include garnering press coverage for the Annual Meeting.
  • Consulting with the ED in preparing LSA news releases as appropriate.
  • Maintaining the FAQ brochures and related content on the LSA website, identifying additional topics of interest where appropriate.
  • Suggesting nominees for the Linguistics, Language and the Public Award to the awards committee.
  • Coordinating efforts with the LiSC regarding educational programs and policies for primary and secondary school students and teachers.
  • Coordinating outreach efforts with LSA liaisons and delegates to external organizations representing the academic and scientific communities.
  • Monitoring websites and other publications for items relating to linguistics and language (for example, Facebook, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, LinguistList, LanguageLog, etc.)
  • Consulting with the ED in seeking grants to support these activities, as appropriate.

Membership (open)

Ideally, the committee should include:

  • Editors of Language and eLanguage
  • Member of Program Committee
  • Members with experience as journalists
  • Members who write/speak for a popular audience
  • Members who are quoted frequently by the news media
  • One member of LiSC

Committee Members

  • John McWhorter, Columbia University, Chair
  • Laura Wagner, The Ohio state University
  • Andries Coetzee, University of Michigan
  • Anne Curzan, University of Michigan
  • Mark Liberman, University of Pennsylvania
  • Kristen Syrett, Rutgers University
  • Deborah Tannen, Georgetown University
  • Patricia Davidson, Syracuse University

Executive Committee Liaison: Penelope Eckert

Staff Liaison: Alyson Reed