The LSA is pleased to announce that a recent donation of $8000 from a former President of the LSA has helped us to achieve our final fundraising goal for this endowment. Our original goal was to raise $50,000 from LSA members and other donors. Over the course of a five-year campaign, we realized significant investment earnings on the funds that had already been donated, thus enabling the LSA to exceed its targeted amount by approximately $10,000.


In 2015, the LSA established a charitable contribution fund in memory of Emmon Bach (June 12, 1929 - November 28, 2014). This fund was established in consultation with Emmon’s families and close colleagues, and is to be used to support student fellowships at CoLang, the Institute for Collaborative Language Research.

This will be the first named fellowship at CoLang; the founding donors are sure that Emmon would be pleased and honored to be helping to support the CoLang institutes, which offer an opportunity for practicing linguists, undergraduate and graduate students, and indigenous language community members to develop and refine skills and approaches to language documentation and revitalization.

In addition to his well-known work on syntactic and semantic theory, Emmon worked over many decades on the languages of northern British Columbia, especially Haisla, documenting the Haisla language and publishing articles on issues in the semantics and morphology of polysynthetic languages. For several years in the 1980s and 1990s, he taught linguistics (in New Aiyansh) and cotaught Haisla and Coast Tsimshian with community members (in Kitamaat and Prince Rupert). Beyond his scientific interests, he was concerned with language rights and problems of language endangerment. A Past-President of the LSA (1995), Emmon was also active in SSILA, the Society for the Study of Indigenous Languages, and was President of SSILA at the time of his death. 

The LSA's goal was to raise enough funds to support an endowed Bach Fellowship award at each future CoLang Institute. An endowment relies on the earnings rather than the principal to generate the financial award. In order to support a biennial fellowship that covers tuition, room and board, plus travel support, the LSA needed to raise a minimum of $50,000. 

The fundraising drive continued until sufficient funds were raised, and the LSA is pleased to have reached the goal in time to make the first award at CoLang 2020 [cancelled until 2022 due to COVID-19]

The founding donors signed a special letter [pdf] inviting colleagues to contribute to the fund, which is included here for archival purposes. New contributions to the fund are no longer being accepted.

Bach Fund Founding Donors

  • Jim Blevins, University of Cambridge
  • Ellen Broselow, Stony Brook University
  • Gregory N. Carlson, University of Rochester
  • Wynn Chao
  • Mary Dalrymple, Oxford University
  • Daniel Finer, Stony Brook University
  • Colleen Fitzgerald, UT Arlington
  • Lyn Frazier, UMass Amherst
  • Alice C. Harris, UMass Amherst
  • Pauline Jacobson, Brown University
  • Fred Landman (Tel Aviv University) and Susan Rothstein (Bar-Ilan University)
  • Joyce McDonough, University of Rochester
  • Barbara H. Partee, UMass Amherst
  • David Partee and Carol Kaynor, University of Alaska Fairbanks 
  • Joel Partee and Anne Catherine Davis
  • Morriss M. Partee
  • Patricia A. Shaw, University of British Columbia
  • Gert Webelhuth, University of Frankfurt
  • T.E. Zimmermann and Caroline Féry, Goethe University, Frankfurt

And other donors who wish to remain anonymous

The Linguistic Society is a non-profit organization exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The LSA Federal Identification Number is 74-6043371. As a non-profit organization, the LSA may qualify for corporate donation-matching programs. Prospective donors may review a copy of the LSA's most recent federal tax return (Form 990) here.