Vote on the Slate of Candidates
Polls are open through November 2.

 

The LSA Constitution, Article IV, Section 2, states:

The Nominating Committee shall nominate one person for the position of Vice President and two for each vacant position on the Executive Committee. A report from the Nominating Committee and the slate of nominees with statements from the candidates shall be sent to the members at least seven months in advance of the Annual Meeting. If six months before the Annual Meeting, ten or more members have separately and in writing nominated any additional individual member for any position, and that member agrees to be presented as a candidate for the position in question, then that name shall be added to the ballot submitted to the members. This ballot shall be sent not less than four months in advance of the Annual Meeting. A quorum shall consist of those replies which have been received by the Secretary-Treasurer two months in advance of the date of the Annual Meeting.

The Slate of Candidates for 2020 is available below.  Any additional nominations must be received, according to the procedures described above, no later than July 2, 2019.  No additional nominations were received by July 2, 2019, and the Slate of Candidates will appear as below on the ballot.

Votes may be cast online between September 3 and November 2, 2019.  Only current LSA members are eligible to vote.  Please log in to the LSA website prior to clicking on the voting link. 

The Nominating Committee has submitted the following slate of members to stand for election in September-November 2019:

Vice President/President-Elect:

Executive Committee (2 at-large seats):

The LSA Executive Committee, acting on the advice of an ad-hoc search committee, has nominated the following for a three-year term as Co-Editor of Language, followed by a three-year term as Editor of the journal.

Proposed Amendments to the LSA bylaws

A brief biographical summary and statement for each candidate is included below.  Note that the candidate for Vice President/President-Elect submits only a biographical statement. 

Biographical Summaries and Statements
 

Candidate for Vice President/President-Elect (1-year term, with two additional years on the Executive Committee as President and Past President)
 

Laurence Horn (Yale University, Emeritus)

Laurence R. Horn received his bachelor’s degree in French linguistics from the University of Rochester in 1965 and his PhD from UCLA in 1972. His dissertation, On the semantic properties of logical operators in English, introduced scalar implicature. Since then, he has sought to extend the Gricean program for non-logical inference to a class of problems in the union (if not intersection) of logical and lexical semantics and the analysis of negation. Since 1981 he has been at Yale University where he is now Professor Emeritus of Linguistics and Philosophy; he previously taught at the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Southern California, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Aix-Marseille; at LSA Institutes at Stanford, the University of California, Santa Cruz, Illinois, and Michigan State University; and at the LOT summer school at Utrecht. He is the author of A natural history of negation (Chicago, 1989; reissued with new introduction by CSLI, 2001) and of over 100 papers and handbook entries on negation, polarity, implicature, presupposition, grammatical variation, word meaning, lexicography, and lying. He edited The Expression of Negation (de Gruyter, 2010) and is a co-editor with Y. Kato of Negation and Polarity (Oxford, 2000), with G. Ward of The Handbook of Pragmatics (Blackwell-Wiley, 2004), with I. Kecskes of Explorations in Pragmatics (de Gruyter, 2007), with R. Zanuttini of Micro-Syntactic Variation in North American English (OUP, 2010), and with K. Turner of Pragmatics, Truth and Underspecification (Brill, 2018). With Raffaella Zanuttini and Jim Wood, he is a charter member of the Yale Grammatical Diversity Project. He was editor of the Garland/Routledge series of Outstanding Dissertations in Linguistics (1995-2005). A longtime member of the LSA and the American Dialect Society, he is an elected fellow of the LSA and served on the Executive Committee and as co-chair of the Program Committee. An autoportrait of his career can be found in the 2018 volume of the Annual Review of Linguistics.

Candidates for 2 At-large Seats on the Executive Committee
 

Jennifer Bloomquist (Gettysburg College)

Jennifer Bloomquist is professor of Linguistics and Africana Studies and Associate Provost for Faculty Development and the Dean of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Programs at Gettysburg College. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English literature from Clarion University and her master’s degree and her doctorate in linguistics from the University of Buffalo. She was awarded a Consortium for Faculty Diversity postdoctoral fellowship at Gettysburg College in 2001 and permanently joined the faculty at Gettysburg in 2003. She served as the chair of the Africana Studies Program for ten years and became the college’s first African American administrator in 2017. She has been a past co-chair of the Linguistic Society of America’s Committee on Ethnic Diversity in Linguistics. Her work has been published in First Language, Journal of Pragmatics, Multilingua, the Journal of African American Studies, and American Speech. She has served on the editorial boards of American Speech and Teaching Linguistics, and had also been a reviewer for The Journal of Negro Education, the Journal of North African Studies, and the National Science Foundation. Her research focuses on African American Englishes in the regional context and she is currently at work on a project with Oxford University Press on the representation of African American English and its role in the construction of ethnicity in children’s animated films.

Statement
I have been a linguist for 20 years. In that time, I have come to believe that in several important aspects, the Linguistic Society of America has failed many of us, and has been failing us for decades. Much of the organization has remained sluggish, mired in structures that maintain the centrality of whiteness and protect whiteness in the same ways as nearly all American institutions continue to do. The society has used its influence as the dominant professional organization for linguists to reproduce power relationships in the field and across the academy. In doing that, the LSA has leveraged its influence to legitimize certain scholarship while devaluing the work of other linguists, many of whom are non-majority identified scholars working on language varieties and issues outside of what is validated by the LSA.

Those linguists have been leaving the LSA in droves, turning to some of the sister societies, such as the American Dialect Society and the Society for Pidgin and Creole Linguistics, as well as to organizations like AERA and AAA. These are linguists who are producing tremendous, relevant work, but who have been dismissed and are systematically shut out of participation in the LSA.

Because the organization has operated as an intellectual gatekeeper and barrier to meaningful change, not only are we experiencing the brain drain of linguists already in the profession to other fields, but we also have been slow to build the next generation of scholar-activists in linguistics. We are not advancing enough of the kind of work that brings linguistics to the forefront during an era of social and political upheaval; I believe that if we were, the LSA could have considerable influence in public discourse.

As members, we have been complicit in the society’s failure by participating in an organization that continues to suffer from a philosophical myopia. I believe that it is possible to reshape the LSA so that we can build the field, expand our reach, and be more relevant to audiences outside of the discipline. To do this, we should work diligently to support diversity of experience, ability, and thought in the field. The organization must further our efforts to include work on stigmatized language varieties and scholarship undertaken by native speakers of those varieties. We also must support the cutting edge, interdisciplinary work that showcases the dexterity, relevance, and importance of linguistics both within the academy and in the public sphere. ​

Chris Kennedy (University of Chicago)

Chris Kennedy is William H. Colvin Professor of Linguistics at the University of Chicago, where he served as Chair of the Department of Linguistics from 2008-2015 and 2018-2019. He received his PhD from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1997, and was a member of the faculty in the Department of Linguistics at Northwestern University for eight years, before moving to the University of Chicago in 2005.  Kennedy's research is geared towards discovering and describing the principles that are involved in relating linguistic forms to meanings; determining how this mapping is achieved through the interaction of properties of the linguistic system, properties of cognition more generally, and broader features of communicative contexts; and understanding the extent to which structural and typological features of language can be explained in terms of meaning.  He has explored these issues primarily through a focused exploration of the language of comparison, amount and degree, with attention also to other topics at the syntax-semantics-pragmatics interface such as ellipsis, anaphora, and quantification. Kennedy recently completed a four-year term as Associate Editor of Language, is currently an Associate Editor of Journal of Semantics, and is one of the General Editors (with Chris Barker) of the Oxford University Press series Studies in Semantics and Pragmatics and Surveys in Semantics and Pragmatics

Statement
It is an honor to be nominated to serve on the Executive Committee, and if I am elected, I will do my best to promote the interests of the current and future members of the LSA, the field, the communities we serve, and the institutions that enable us to do our work. I  believe that I am at a point in my career at which I have the space to devote a substantial amount of effort to this purpose, and I hope that I also have acquired enough experience and wisdom to ensure that this effort will not be wasted. In addition to supporting initiatives directed towards the promotion of these interests, I would like to see the LSA engage with questions about the role of contemporary modes of communication --- in particular social media --- in shaping perception of, and judgments about, topics of contemporary social significance. We are at a moment in time at which more communicative acts are being performed by more people, directed at larger audiences, with greater potential social consequences, and yet with a greater remove from any sort of verification of their felicity conditions, than ever before. Not all of these acts involve language, but a great deal of them do, and the collective expertise of its membership puts the LSA in a uniquely strong position to help increase understanding of how they work, how to make sense of them, and what their consequences are.

Line Mikkelsen (University of California, Berkeley)

Line Mikkelsen is an Associate Professor of Linguistics at University of California. Berkeley. She received her PhD in Linguistics from University of California at Santa Cruz in 2004 and has taught at Berkeley since then. There are two main prongs to her work. The first is theoretical syntax, semantics and morphology, centered on Germanic languages. Her published work includes a 2005 book on copular clauses and articles on definiteness marking, DP-internal structure, VP anaphora, VP topicalization, object shift, ellipsis, and the expression of sameness and difference. The second prong is community-based language revitalization with a focus on California native languages. She is working with  Chochenyo (Ohlone), Karuk (Hokan),  Kashaya (Pomo), and Eastern Pomo communities and teaches workshops and courses on linguistic tools for language learning at the Breath of Life Archival Institute for Indigenous Languages and at UC Berkeley. She is Core Faculty in UC Berkeley's Designated Emphasis in Indigenous Language Revitalization. She served as an Associate Editor of Language 2015-2018 and is on the editorial boards of Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics and Linguistic Inquiry.

Statement
I am deeply interested in the relationship between linguistics, linguists and the speech communities of the languages of study, especially in the context of marginalized languages. Over the last couple of decades this relationship has been changing in interesting and positive directions towards greater reciprocity and respect. I believe there is still more to do and that the LSA has an important role to play in this work. I am also a firm believer in civility in academic interactions and the importance of positive mentoring of students and am interested in pursuing ways for the LSA to promote both of these. Finally, I am excited about the greater visibility of linguistics in high schools and the LSA initiative to establish an AP linguistics course. If elected to the Executive Committee of the Linguistic Society of America, these are the areas I would like to focus on.
 

Stephen Wechster (The University of Texas at Austin)

Stephen M. Wechsler received his BA in English from the University of California at Berkeley in 1979, and his PhD in Linguistics from Stanford University in 1991.  He is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin, where he has served on the faculty since 1991, including a period as a fellow of the Alma Cowden Madden Centennial Professorship in Linguistics from 2013 to 2016.  A specialist in syntactic and semantic theory, Wechsler has focused his research on word meaning and its role in syntax, agreement systems, and the semantics of self-reference.  Among his publications, he has authored the books The Semantic Basis of Argument Structure (CSLI, 1995) and Word Meaning and Syntax (Oxford University Press, 2015) and co-authored The Many Faces of Agreement (CSLI, 2003) and Lexical Functional Syntax, 2nd Edition (Blackwell, 2015).  He has taught courses at LSA Summer Institutes in Boulder, Chicago, and Lexington, and was the founding Austin, Texas coordinator for the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad.  

Statement
I support the current missions of the LSA, namely to foster community among linguists, educate the public about linguistics, enable and promote linguistic research, help linguists and linguistics students at all stages of their education and profession, and advocate for the value of linguistics to society.  But it is within that last area, the value of linguistics to society, that I have a particular interest in seeing the LSA’s efforts supported and expanded.

As linguists we have important roles to play in the society: we can shape language-related public policy; we can help with linguistic aspects of the interpretation of laws and the Constitution; and perhaps most importantly, we can improve language related teaching in our primary and secondary schools, colleges and adult literacy programs.  Education in writing and grammar could benefit greatly from some linguistically informed guidance, and linguistics itself can be added to public school curricula.  I would like to support the work of the Language in the School Curriculum Committee, and seek ways to expand those efforts.  For example, teaching children to write is one of the most important goals of public education, but writing is a specialized skill that can be challenging to teach.  This process can be made easier with the help of techniques gleaned from the scientific study of syntax and discourse structure.   The teaching of grammar is another area where linguists can serve teachers, not by imposing new technical terminology or formalisms from linguistic theory, but rather by helping teachers to apply the traditional terms with greater precision. Finally, linguistics itself should be taught in the high schools.  Many high school students find linguistics fascinating, as you know if you have given guest lectures at a public high school.  I support the LSA’s AP Linguistics Committee initiative to get high schools to offer linguistics courses as a first step toward introducing Advanced Placement courses in linguistics at the high school. 

Candidate for Co-Editor of Language

John Beavers (The Unviersity of Texas at Austin)

John Beavers is an Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics at The University of Texas at Austin. He earned a BS in Computer Science and a BA in Mathematics and Linguistics in 2000, both from The University of Texas, where an initial interest in computational linguistics later led him to develop a research program in syntax and semantics. He earned his MA in 2002 and his PhD in 2006 from Stanford University, and taught for one year at Georgetown University before taking up his current position at The University of Texas. His current research interests are largely in the area of lexical semantics, where he has explored the ways in which word meanings are decomposed into more basic components, how these components are interpreted truth conditionally, and the principles by which a word’s meaning correlates with and ultimately determines its grammatical behavior. Among other things, he has focused on the effect of predicate meaning on the syntactic and morphological realization of arguments, how events described by different classes of verbs unfold over time, and how the idiosyncratic parts of a word's meaning relate to regular, recurring components that the word shares with other words. This work has included detailed studies of relevant phenomena in a range of languages, including English, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Colloquial Sinhala, Kinyarwanda, and Romanian. His most recent work, supported by a 2015 National Science Foundation grant awarded to himself and Andrew Koontz-Garboden of The University of Manchester, has explored questions of verb meaning from a typological perspective. Beavers's work has been published in journals such as Language, Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, Linguistic Inquiry, Journal of Linguistics, and Lingua. He has been a member of the LSA for nearly 20 years, having also taught at the 2015 LSA Institute at University of Chicago and served on the reviewing subcommittee of the Committee on Linguistic Institutes and Fellowships in 2017. Since 2016 he has served as an Associate Editor at Language. He has also supported the LSA in another capacity --- as long term lead guitarist for the Stanford Linguistics band Dead Tongues and the University of Texas band Gavagai, he has performed at several LSA Summer Institutes dating back to 2003, with his most recent performance at the 2017 LSA Annual Meeting in Austin, TX.

Statement
As the flagship journal of the Linguistic Society of America, Language serves a preeminent place in the field as the one of its most prominent general journals. It is also the one journal that unites the entirety of the LSA together, serving as a common ground for sharing new research across the community. Language has been the journal I have admired most since first entering the field 20 years ago, and I have found my time as an Associate Editor at Language richly rewarding. I am honored to be nominated to serve as its next Co-Editor and to give back to the community that it represents.

The foremost job of the Co-Editor and Editor of Language is to continue to maintain Language's status as the preeminent general journal of the field. This involves working with the editorial team and the reviewers to maintain the high standards Language currently has, ensuring that the feedback offered to authors is fair, constructive, and actionable so as to guide papers towards realizing their full potential whether or not they ultimately find a home in Language, and finally in publishing results likely to have a broad and lasting impact. At the same time, the journal has an obligation to provide this service to the community in an efficient manner that respects the time commitments of the LSA members and others who serve as reviewers and the needs of authors for speedy decisions. The editorial team should continue to work to improve efficiency.

The Editors must also ensure that Language truly reflects the diversity of the membership of the LSA, including not just the traditional core areas of the field but also new work that pushes empirical, theoretical, and methodological grounds. As the field grows the pages of the journal should grow. Maintaining this freshness should involve not just keeping an open mind but also active efforts to draw in submissions from a diverse base of research and accommodating differential reviewing expectations such as typical time to review that may apply across different subfields that might otherwise serve as a barrier for some members to submit to Language. Recruiting a diverse editorial team that reflects the whole of the society is also critical to this success.

Finally, as academia turns increasingly to open access Language should continue in its efforts to make its results available to the overall field and general public as quickly as possible.

I have a deep respect for the mission of Language, and I would be honored to continue to serve the journal, the LSA, and the academic community at large in helping Language fulfill its mission for many more years to come.

Proposed Amendments to the LSA Bylaws

Amendment relating to the term of service on LSA open committees:

IV.1. . . . Members of an open committee may join the committee at any time, for a three multi-year term of service, renewable once at the agreement of the member and the Chair

RATIONALE FOR THE AMENDMENT

This change allows for greater flexibility, especially among student committee members, to serve shorter terms if desired.

Amendment relating to the service of the Bernard and Julia Bloch Fellw on the Committee for Student Issues and Concerns (COSIACI)

IV.4. The Bloch Fellow, selected by the Committee on Linguistic Institutes and Fellowships, shall serve a two-year term as the student representative on the Executive Committee. The Bloch Fellow's term begins at the spring meeting of the Executive Committee and runs for two years from that date. The Bloch Fellow shall also serve as the Chair a member of the Committee on Student Issues and Concerns (COSIAC) for the duration of the term of service on the Executive Committee.

RATIONALE FOR THE AMENDMENT

At its May 2019 meeting, the LSA Executive Committee approved a change, proposed by a group of current and former Bernard and Julia Bloch Fellows, which replaces the Bloch Fellow as chair of COSIAC with a rank-and-file member of the committee.  The rationale for the change is two-fold:  it allows for COSIAC, like other LSA open committees, to select its own chair (subject to approval by the Executive Committee); and it frees the Bloch Fellow to focus on the considerable leadership and administrative responsibilities inherent in membership on the Executive Committee.