In 2018, the LSA continued its ongoing programs and services on behalf of its mission: to advance the scientific study of language. Highlights of new and expanded activities are outlined below.

Professional Development and Education

  • Launched a new Mentoring Initiative, including “Pop-up” offerings at linguistics conferences, an online distance mentoring facility, special events at the Linguistic Institute and Annual Meeting, webinars, and a proposal for new mentoring awards.
  • Issued a new statement [pdf] on the evaluation of language documentation for hiring, tenure, and promotion.
  • Co-organized a series of webinars on:
    • How to Be a Successful Grad School Applicant
    • Working in Tech - It's Not Just for Computational Linguists
    • Applying for NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
    • Abstract Writing: How to Convince in a Page
    • Sharing Your Scholarship
    • Linguistics in the Public Sphere: An Advocacy Webinar
    • Applying for NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants
  • Developed new resources as part of the LSA Civility Initiative, including a workshop at the 2019 Annual Meeting, and an update to the LSA Ethics Code [pdf].
  • Established a new Special Interest Group on LBGTQ+ Issues.
  • Expanded a partnership with the Wiki Ed Foundation to promote the use of Wikipedia as a teaching and learning resource in linguistics classrooms.

Scholarships, Professorships, Honors & Awards

  • With generous support from the family of the late Warren Cowgill (pictured at right), LSA Collitz Professor (1972), established new diversity fellowship for students from an under-represented minority to attend the Linguistic Institute.
  • Reached our goal to endow two new student fellowships in honor of Yuki Kuroda and Charles Fillmore, to be awarded at the 2019 Linguistic Institute.
  • Awarded 14 fellowships to students attending the 2018 Institute for Collaborative Language Research (CoLang) at the University of Florida.
  • Granted diversity travel awards to five students attending the 2018 Annual Meeting, under the auspices of the LSA’s Committee on Ethnic Diversity.
  • Established the Richard T. Oehrle Memorial Fund to support an annual lecture at the European Summer School in Language, Logic and Information (ESSLLI).
  • Continued a major fundraising drive to establish a new CoLang student fellowship in honor of the late LSA President Emmon Bach.

Meetings, Institutes and Events



  • Issued a draft version of a proposed Statement on Race for review and comment by the LSA membership.
  • Co-sponsored the 2nd International March for Science.
  • Issued Statements or Endorsements, independently and in collaboration with colleague organizations:
    • Opposed classifying basic language research funded by the National Institutes of Health as clinical trials (multiple letters);
    • Opposing Proposed Program Cuts at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point; • Climate Change and Human Languages and Cultures;
    • Inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity measures on the NSCG and related surveys administered by the NSF’s National Center for Science & Engineering Statistics;
    • Coalition for National Science Funding's Advocacy Letters for FY18 and FY19.
  • Continued its campaign in support of Native American Language Revitalization legislation pending in the U.S. Congress. Senate bill 254 was passed with unanimous bipartisan support in December 2017.
  • Successfully defended the National Endowment for the Humanities from proposed elimination.
  • Conducted an Advocacy Webinar to provide hands-on training in Congressional relations.

Public Outreach and Media Relations

  • Initiated planning work for the LSA’s participation in UNESCO’s 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages, in partnership with SSILA. As part of the year-long observance, offered annual meeting fee waivers to indigenous scholars.
  • Increased our reach on social media via daily posts about linguistics news stories appearing in the popular news media: almost 40K followers on Facebook and over 21K followers on Twitter.
  • With support from NSF, sponsored language science and linguistics booths at the USA Science & Engineering Festival (pictured at right), and at AAAS’ Family Science Days.

Continuing Traditions

  • Established a new committee to plan for the LSA’s Centennial observances in 2024.
  • Appointed an ad-hoc Strategic Planning Committee to update the LSA’s long-term plan for 2019-2023.
  • Organized the LSA’s 92nd Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City.
  • Increased readership of our flagship journal, Language, via online sections on: Teaching Linguistics, Public Policy, Research Reports and Perspectives.
  • Issued a series of news releases about the latest research published in its journals and presented at its Annual Meeting, garnering significant coverage in prominent international media outlets.
  • Provided financial assistance and in-kind support for linguists seeking to attend the LSA Annual Meeting and access LSA publications.
  • Published a new volume (11) of Semantics & Pragmatics, the platinum open-access journal of the LSA.
  • Issued the fifth edition of the LSA’s Annual Report on the State of Linguistics in Higher Education [pdf], with new longitudinal LSA data.
  • Represented linguists at national and international meetings of colleague organizations and through participation in coalitions and consortia working to advance science, the humanities, and higher education.
  • Defended linguistics departments and programs against threats of cuts or elimination by contacting administrators and officials and by working behind the scenes to provide data in support of the value of linguistics.
  • Continued LSA co-sponsorship of CoLang in 2018 at the University of Florida, and supported planning associated with CoLang 2020 at University of Montana.