Being designated a Fellow of the LSA is the highest honor the Society awards. This honor should be reserved to those who have achieved the greatest distinction in linguistics under the criteria enumerated by the LSA. Such an honor should never be automatic, ex officio, or merely granted on the basis of a role (such as serving as editor of an LSA-affiliated publication) a linguist has played in support of the Society, regardless of their contributions in that role or to the field. Other scientific societies with which we are familiar have no such category of automatic Fellowship. Each Fellow should be elected, and contributions to the Society can certainly be cited in nominating a prospective Fellow, and endorsed by the Executive Committee in voting. The proposed change removes the automatic granting of Fellow status, while preserving the ability of the Society to recognize outstanding contributions to the field through service, scholarship, and other criteria. It merely makes all Fellows subject to election, and removes a path to Fellow status that is automatic, not subject to review, and which takes priority over all other bases for election.

Signed,

  1. Stephen R. Anderson
  2. Mark Aronoff
  3. Jonathan Bobaljik
  4. Claire Bowern
  5. Diane Brentari
  6. Sandra Chung
  7. Peter Culicover
  8. Cecelia Cutler
  9. Karen Emmorey
  10. Jay Jasanoff
  11. William Ladusaw
  12. Howard Lasnik
  13. Jeffrey Lidz
  14. Diane Lillo-Martin
  15. John J. McCarthy
  16. James McCloskey
  17. Jason Merchant
  18. Salikoko Mufwene
  19. Donna Jo Napoli
  20. Carol Padden
  21. Maria Polinsky
  22. Geoffrey K. Pullum
  23. Lori Repetti
  24. Thomas Roeper
  25. Jerrold Sadock
  26. Yael Sharvit
  27. Tim Stowell