The Slate of Candidates for 2023 is available below. 

A series of proposed amendments to the LSA Constitution and Bylaws are also outlined on this page. These amendments originated with the staff and Executive Committee of the LSA.

A series of proposed amendments to the LSA Constitution and Bylaws are available here. These amendments originated with a group of LSA members.

The rationale for each, along with any member comments in support or opposition received by the deadline, are also included.



The Nominating Committee has submitted the following slate of members to stand for election in September-November 2022:

Vice President/President-Elect:

Executive Committee (two at-large seats):

Language Co-Editor

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.

A brief biographical summary and statement for candidates who provided them is included below.

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)

Marlyse Baptista (University of Michigan)

Marlyse Baptista is the Uriel Weinreich Collegiate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Michigan.  She is also a core faculty member of the Weinberg Institute for Cognitive Science and is a faculty affiliate in the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies. Her primary interests include the morphosyntax of Creole languages, the cognitive processes involved in language contact more broadly, the linguistic, historical and social factors involved in Creole emergence, theories of Creole genesis and Creoles in education.  She uses theoretical, descriptive, experimental and corpus (using fieldwork data) methods in her investigation of Creole languages.  She directs the Cognition, Convergence and Language Emergence (CCLE) research group at the University of Michigan. 

Marlyse Baptista received her Ph.D. in Linguistics from Harvard University in 1997 and was a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1998.  She taught at the University of Georgia from 1998 to 2007 before joining the University of Michigan faculty in 2007.    She has held a number of leadership positions over the years: She was the elected President of the Society for Pidgin Creole Linguistics, in addition to serving on its Executive Committee and Nominating Committee, and as its Executive Secretary/Treasurer.  Within the Linguistic Society of America, she has been an elected member of the Executive Committee, the co-Chair of the Program Committee, the Chair of the Committee on Ethnic Diversity in Linguistics, a staff liaison to the Committee on Student Issues and Concerns (COSIAC), a member of the Leonard Bloomfield Book Award committee, and she was invited to teach at four Linguistic Summer Institutes.  She is a Fellow of the Linguistic Society of America and is currently one of the Associate Editors of its flagship journal, Language.  In addition, she is a member of the editorial boards for the Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages, Diachronica, and the Contact Languages Library book series, and she is currently the Chair of the Board of Directors for the journal Language Learning. She is a U.S. Delegate for Linguistics for Oxford University Press. 

At the University of Michigan, she is the recipient of a Faculty Recognition Award (which recognizes "outstanding achievements in scholarly research, excellence as a teacher, advisor and mentor; and distinguished participation as a conscientious and engaged citizen") and a named Collegiate Professorship. She is an elected member of the Michigan Society of Fellows.   

Her publications include The Syntax of Cape Verdean Creole: The Sotavento Varieties, a co-edited book (with Jacqueline Guéron) Noun Phrases in Creole Languages and numerous scholarly articles that have appeared in Language ("Competition, selection and the role of congruence in Creole languages," 2020), the International Journal of Bilingualism ("Testing the convergence hypothesis in language acquisition with implications for Creole genesis," co-authored with Susan Gelman and Erica Beck, 2016), the Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages ("Continuum and variation in Creole languages: Out of many voices, one  language," 2015), and Lingua ("Can crosslinguistically variant grammars be formally identical? Third factor underspecification and the possible elimination of parameters of UG," co-authored with Miki Obata (first author) and Samuel D. Epstein, 2015), among others.  Her CCLE research group recently completed a manuscript "Revitalizing attitudes towards Creole languages" (Bancu and Peltier as lead authors) which engaged linguists and language users from three Creole communities in a conversation that resulted in a series of recommendations on how to promote a non-deficit perspective on Creole languages in linguistics introductory courses, and beyond. This paper will appear in Decolonizing Linguistics (Charity-Hudley, Mallinson and Bucholtz, eds.). 

Marlyse Baptista is of Cabo Verdean descent and has trained Cabo Verdean linguists at the University of Cabo Verde, as part of its Master's in Creolistics. She has conducted extensive fieldwork in Cabo Verde and has documented language variation on all nine islands of the archipelago.  She promotes the representation and use of Creoles and other minoritized languages/varieties in education, as she is a firm believer in the benefits of mother tongue instruction in K–12; with Inês Brito and Saídu Bangura, she co-authored "Cape Verdean Creole in education: A linguistic and human right" (2010).  She co-founded the Cape Verdean Creole Institute with other Cabo Verdean community members, and organized workshops to teach community members how to write in Cabo Verdean Creole, using the new ALUPEK orthographic convention (Cimboa, 1998). In 2021, with other Cabo Verdean scholars and educators from the Cabo Verdean Center for Applied Research (CVCAR), she contributed to the development of the "Cabo Verdean Heritage Language and Culture" curriculum for the Boston Public Schools. With the CVCAR team, she co-authored "Cabo Verdean Kriolu: A culturally responsive pedagogy towards an inclusive education," submitted to Inclusive Linguistics (Charity-Hudley, Mallinson and Bucholtz, eds.).You can find her CV here.


I am both deeply humbled and honored to have been asked to stand for Vice-President and President-Elect of the Linguistic Society of America.  This position comes with great responsibilities that I take seriously and that I will carry out to the best of my abilities. 

I have been a member of the LSA since 2000, and am almost always present at the annual meetings, due to the great benefits that I have received from attending both the LSA conference and the sessions of the Society of Pidgin and Creole Linguistics, one of the LSA's sister societies.  I am grateful to the LSA for creating the platform where I was interviewed for my first academic position, where I have presented my work multiple times and where I have always learned a great deal from other scholars' research.  However, in recent years, it has become clear that our Society has not been as inclusive and representative of all subdisciplinary subfields as it could be, and that the younger generation of linguists does not feel that their voices are being heard, due to current power structures.  I have been part of some of these conversations and have observed how original ideas emerged from our members' fruitful and thoughtful exchanges, ultimately leading to innovative and much-needed initiatives.  Change is happening, but much remains to be done.

For all these reasons and in keeping with the LSA Long Range Strategic Plan, I am deeply committed to promoting inclusive practices that support and value the participation and research of all language professionals within and beyond academia and across subdisciplinary specializations, methodologies and scholarly foci. 

I support the LSA in its mission to meet the changing needs of its membership and, in the spirit of democratic governance which stands as one of the LSA's core values, one of my priorities is to facilitate dialogue between linguists from across ranks, subdisciplinary backgrounds and career paths to identify issues and work together towards resolving them.  This critical moment in the history of the LSA offers a unique opportunity for our community to rethink and reframe our field and to broaden our definition of what it means to "do linguistics" and to "be a linguist". 

I would like to help the LSA foster an environment where every language professional feels supported, valued and respected, irrespective of subfields and career choices. As a linguist specialized in Creole languages, I aim at amplifying the LSA's message that all languages, language varieties and their users are equal and valued, and that the perceived hierarchies among them reflect the power structures in which they are embedded.

As a field that intersects with the social and cultural dimensions of our humanity, linguistics, and we, as members of the LSA community are in a privileged position to further racial, social and linguistic justice for all people.  It would be a great honor to help us achieve that promise.

Candidates for 2 At-large Seats on the Executive Committee


Melissa Baese-Berk (University of Oregon)

Melissa Baese-Berk is the David M. and Nancy L. Petrone Faculty Scholar and a Professor of Linguistics at the University of Oregon, where she directs the Speech Perception and Production Laboratory. She earned her PhD in Linguistics from Northwestern University and her BA in Linguistics from Boston University.

Prof. Baese-Berk’s research focuses on phonetics, laboratory phonology, and psycholinguistics, specifically examining speech perception and production. Her lab conducts behavioral experiments in these domains along with acoustic-phonetic analyses of speech. Prof. Baese-Berk’s lab is committed to representing linguistic diversity and diversity more broadly in the research, teaching, and outreach that emerges from the lab. For more information about the specific approaches to this, you can consult the lab website here. The work from the lab is collaborative and interdisciplinary. We include perspectives from undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and faculty collaborators from around the world who represent a variety of disciplines including biology, human physiology, speech and hearing sciences, psychology, economics, among others. She has published extensively in a variety of journals and has served as an editor at journals in linguistics, psychology, and cognitive science. The work in the lab is currently funded by several grants from the National Science Foundation and an Opportunity Award from the James S. McDonnel Foundation. In 2021, she was awarded the UO’s Faculty Excellence Award.

Prof. Baese-Berk is also a committed teacher and mentor. She enjoys teaching across the curriculum, but especially enjoys teaching introductory and core education courses to students just discovering linguistics. She has been awarded several teaching and mentoring awards at UO including: the Tykeson Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the Ersted Faculty Achievement Award for Distinguished Teaching, the Rippey Award for Innovative Teaching, and the Faculty Research Mentor Award.

Prof. Baese-Berk has been a member of LSA since 2004, and has served on a number of committees and working groups in recent years, including: Public Relations Committee, Committee for Editors of Linguistics Journals, the working group on mentoring, and the working group on demographic data in linguistics. The bulk of her service to the field has been through the Committee on Gender Equity in Linguistics (COGEL), where she served as chair from 2018-2020. While chair, she was one of the founders of the Pop-Up Mentoring Program which was recognized with the Linguistic Service Award in 2019.


I am honored to be nominated to stand for election for the LSA Executive Committee. I care deeply about this Society and the mission to advance the scientific study of language. However, the LSA has faced a number of challenges in the past several years, some external to our Society and some derived from within. These challenges have played out largely in the public sphere, allowing for individuals from many sides to have their voices heard, but also for many of these discussions to occur with unprecedented public access given social media and other venues – everyone who wanted to know what was going on had an opportunity to find out. We are at a critical juncture for our society where some members are questioning whether the Society truly works for them and whether we, as a Society, support their scholarship and needs. This is particularly true for many early career members and students, who represent the future of our Society’s membership. I believe that if our Society is to continue (fiscally, logistically, and philosophically), we must shift our approach to ensure that all members are truly welcome into the society.

If elected to the Executive Committee, I would work to advocate for a “big tent” approach for our membership, encouraging the expansion of our definition of “linguist” to ensure that all members and potential members feel welcome. Our Society has the opportunity to expand our work from the academy to the public more broadly, especially to emphasize the role that language and linguistics can play in addressing many of the challenges our country and our world face. To do so, I would advocate expanding our outreach to linguists beyond academia, and to continue to expand our efforts to champion inclusivity, accessibility, and a sense of belonging for all our members. Specifically, I would work to serve as an amplifier for the voices that already exist within the society, but feel marginalized within it. My previous work with COGEL, and our cross-committee work, has given me substantial experience working within the LSA infrastructure and working with stakeholders from a variety of populations, and I anticipate that this work would grow while on the Executive Committee.

I would also work to increase transparency of the decisions the Executive Committee makes on a variety of issues. I believe that the bulk of the frustration felt by many members stems from a lack of transparency about what decisions are made and why they are made. Too many linguists refer to the LSA as “them”, as in “their decisions to do X”, when in reality, the society is “us”, a collective of all of our scholarly and outreach efforts. Therefore, it is critical to reinstate trust in the Society, and I believe increasing transparency is a first step in this process. Although the Executive Committee is elected to serve as the representatives of the membership, it is not the case that all decisions ought to be made in a vacuum, without input or explanation.

Finally, I would work to continue to expand our mentorship offerings for members of our community. The Pop-Up Mentoring Program serves hundreds of scholars each year and the new Society has piloted a long-term mentoring program in the past year. However, I believe our society has the capacity to increase our mentoring both by more senior scholars and also offering peer-level support. Having worked with Women in Cognitive Science, the Acoustical Society of America, and SPARK Society on a variety of mentoring initiatives which could be transferred to the LSA, I would use my time on the Executive Committee to continue to develop mentoring capacity within the LSA.

It would be an honor to serve as an elected representative on the Executive Committee of the LSA. If elected, I am confident that I would be a strong advocate for our members. Having worked across so many areas of the society, I hope I have built trust such that the membership would feel comfortable in reaching out to me with questions, concerns, and ideas for helping us improve the membership experience for all linguists.


Michel DeGraff (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Michel DeGraff is Professor of Linguistics at MIT, co-founder and co-director of the MIT-Haiti Initiative and founding member of Akademi Kreyòl Ayisyen in Haiti. His research contributes to an egalitarian approach to Creole languages and their speakers, as in his native Haiti. His writings also engage intellectual history and critical race theory, especially the links between power-knowledge hierarchies and the (mis)representations and (mis-)uses of Creole languages, Indigenous languages and other non-colonial languages in the so called “Global South” and beyond. These links seem part and parcel of the historical foundations of linguistics and other fields in the Humanities that have been enlisted as subtle and not-so-subtle weapons for white supremacy. Prof. DeGraff’s work is anchored in a broader agenda for human rights and social justice, with Haiti as one spectacular case of a post-colony where the national language spoken by all (Haitian Creole) is systematically disenfranchised while the (former) colonial language (French) spoken by few is weaponized for élite closure and for political, socio-economic and geo-political domination. This devalorization of Kreyòl in Haiti and other non-colonial languages worldwide, especially among colonized and otherwise minoritized communities, is embedded in systematic patterns of hegemony where language and education are enlisted as tools for colonialism from both inside and outside the corresponding communities. These patterns of hegemony contribute to the dehumanization and impoverishment of Black and Brown peoples worldwide. Michel DeGraff tackles these political challenges heads-on as he unveils age-old myths about Creole languages in linguistics and as he engages the MIT-Haiti Initiative in a broad campaign for democratizing access to quality education and for the universal respect of human rights. Through the strategic use of crowdsourcing in “Konbit” mode for the co-creation of Open Education Resources in Kreyòl, Platfòm MIT-Ayiti effectively sets up a liberatory model for other communities where language serves hegemony, especially in the context of education and other spheres where knowledge and power are created and transmitted. More details and references at:,,,


If I were to be elected as member of the Executive Committee of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA), I would try to enlist LSA in the pursuit of the aims I describe in my plenary lecture at the 2022 LSA Annual Meeting and my recent LSA Webinar — namely, to cross-fertilize our work and findings in linguistics with work by non-linguists, especially educators, human-rights activists, policy makers, etc. The goal is to call linguists to “direct action,” as defined by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.—toward a better world. My plea here starts with a fundamental assumption about linguists’ social responsibility, which then moves us toward resolving some troubling contradictions among:

  1. Our noble egalitarian ideal in linguistics about the universal scientific worth of the world’s languages: In this ideal, which is held by many (or most?) linguists, all languages are important in our investigation of Human Language.
  2. Linguistic discrimination that’s pervasive worldwide, even among linguists (cf. “Creole Exceptionalism”): According to UNESCO’s data, some 40% of children in the world are prevented from studying in, and valorizing, their home languages. Most languages that we linguists study are excluded from classrooms—and also from courts, parliaments, written press, etc. This predicament is most flagrant in the case of languages in the Global South—as this discrimination and the concomitant impoverishment are exacerbated by a broad array of intellectual and political authorities, including linguists and educators in various locales and of various political allegiances.
  3. Public outreach and direct action among linguists: Much of our research in linguistics remains by and large inaccessible to the communities that stand to benefit the most from our scientific insights about the worth of their disenfranchised languages. Even UNESCO (the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture) seems to thoroughly mis-understand what “language” is! Even education and development experts, such as those affiliated with Agence Française de Développement working in Haiti, are still preventing the use of children's mother tongues as languages of instruction—in so doing, they block development and violate human rights, further deepening the roots of misery in the Global South. In Haiti, even members of the Haitian Creole Academy staunchly oppose the scientifically-sound proposition that Kreyòl and its phonemic orthography are crucial tools for ensuring quality education in Haiti. Worse yet, even linguists themselves, even in prestigious publications and institutions, fail to appreciate the key roles of language and linguistics in human-rights and social-justice work, in conjunction with works by historians, sociologists, anthropologists, etc. So it might not be surprising that prestigious media outlets follow suit and advertise deeply problematic statements by linguists who have claimed, say, that Creole languages are “the [linguists’] equivalent of the Galapagos to Darwin” (Newsweek) and “the only languages which have started again” (New York Times).

If I were to be elected on LSA’s Executive Committee, I’ll be inviting colleagues and students near and far to engage in community-driven direct action and to explore the above-mentioned inconsistences in the intellectual foundations of our field and how to improve on these. Through such direct action, linguistics will contribute to a better world where #ToutLangSeLang (all languages are equally valorized as languages) because #ToutMounSeMoun (every single human being has human rights that must be honored, so #BlackLivesMatter and #OurLanguagesMatter). Our contributions to a better world should become and, eventually, will become an essential aspect of our mission as linguists.


Sali A. Tagliamonte (University of Toronto)

Sali A. Tagliamonte is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Toronto, Canada where she is the Chair of the Department of Linguistics (since 2018). She earned her B.A. Linguistics from the University of York (1981) and her MA and Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Ottawa (Canada) in 1983 and 1991. She has taught at the University of Ottawa (1981-1995), the University of York (UK) (1995-2001) and the University of Toronto 2001-present. She is a member of the Royal Society of Canada, a Fellow of the Linguistic Society of America and is a Canada Research Chair in Language Variation and Change. She was Associate Editor of Language (2007-2010), held a Killam Research Fellowship in 2013-2015 and has served as Vice President (2014-2017) and President (2017-2019) of the American Dialect Society. She serves on numerous editorial boards and has the editor of a book series with Cambridge University Press entitled Studies in Language Variation and Change. Tagliamonte is the author of six books, including “Making Waves”, Variationist Sociolinguistics” (Wiley-Blackwell 2012, 2015) and “Analysing Sociolinguistic Variation” and “Roots of English” (CUP 2006, 2013). She has published on African American varieties, British, Irish and Canadian dialects, teen language and television across the major journals of the field, including Language, Journal of Sociolinguistics, Language Variation and Change, English Language and Linguistics and Language in Society. Her research has been funded by agencies in Canada, the US and UK. Her most recent research program focuses on morpho-syntactic and discourse-pragmatic features using cross-community and apparent time comparisons in corpora of spoken vernacular dialects to explore linguistic change. Results arising from this research are demonstrating that that variation is best understood within a broad, contrastive perspective and that statistical techniques applied to corpus data offer an important means to detect patterns, not only within the variety or dialects under investigation, but also across languages leading to more integrated explanations.


I am honored and excited to be asked to stand for the LSA Executive Committee. I have always looked to the LSA as the leading society for linguists and it has been my intellectual home since 1985. In recent years, we have been living in tumultuous times and the activities and challenges that have faced the LSA have mirrored the extensive malaise and social upheaval across the globe, as catalyzed by the COVID 19 Pandemic. Internal strife in our society has been considerable, often divisive, but — I have to say —with a laudable process for moving forward despite duress and with the good intentions of hard-working committee members and staff. In this climate, both within the LSA as a society and as an organization representing the study of language more generally, I firmly believe our field is ideally positioned to make key contributions to the changing world. In the contemporary climate of technological developments, advances in statistical modelling, cutting-edge innovations in technology, ever-increasing issues of ‘big data’, and a burgeoning expansion of attention to equity and inclusion, Linguistics can contribute a great deal. I believe it is critical for people of creative, collegial, and integrative spirit to forge new ways of doing linguistics and evolving research practice, making fresh discoveries, and teaching the millennium generations. My expertise in Language Variation and Change with its key foci on intersecting areas of Linguistics — linguistic and social influences, historical and contemporary perspectives, field work and statistical modelling, and open to synthesis across disciplines due to its basic methodological principles and quantitative approach, gives me a broad scale perspective on the study of language and by extension its community of scholars. My experience in academic leadership running a department with 22 faculty, 3 members of staff, dozens of graduate students and hundreds of undergraduates during a global pandemic has taught me how to maintain stability in the face of adversity. In university administration more generally, I have learned the value of different opinions and the advancements that can come from incorporating wide-ranging perspectives, social groups, disciplinary viewpoints, and to involve younger and older members of a community. In talking to the media, I have developed an ability to make linguistics comprehensible and interesting to the public while at the same time championing the contributions linguistics can make to the future. These experiences will guide me if elected to the LSA Executive Committee.


Michal Temkin Martinez (Boise State University)

Professor of linguistics at Boise State University, Michal Temkin Martinez serves as the inaugural chair of the Linguistics Department, and is the founding director of the Mary Ellen Ryder Linguistics Lab. She graduated with her BA and MA in Linguistics from California State University, Northridge, and earned her PhD in Linguistics from the University of Southern California. She has been an active member of the LSA since 2003, serving on several committees and in different capacities, including as chair of both the Linguistics in Higher Education Committee (LiHEC), and the Committee on Endangered Language and their Preservation (CELP). During her tenure as chair of CELP, she worked with leaders from CELP and the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas (SSILA) to guide the involvement of the two societies in the UN’s International Year of Indigenous Languages. Her primary research areas mirror her service to the Society: Community-based approaches to language documentation in diasporic communities, and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Linguistics. 

Professor Temkin Martinez has been involved in language access and documentation projects with those who arrived in Boise as refugees. Additionally, in collaboration with community and campus partners, she has helped identify language access gaps in the resettlement process and has mentored her linguistics students to understand how their disciplinary training can help bridge these gaps and meet community needs. In 2016, she was invited to deliver a plenary talk at the Institute for Collaborative Language Research (CoLang) at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks about creating these connections between students and community members. She was also an invited speaker at the workshop on Language Research with Diaspora Communities during the LSA’s 2019 summer institute at UC Davis.

Professor Temkin Martinez currently serves as co-Associate Editor of the Teaching Linguistics section of Language alongside Dr. Kazuko Hiramatsu. In their work to build capacity for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and scholarly teaching in linguistics, the two serve as Principal Investigators on a National Science Foundation Grant (#1924593) awarded to the LSA to facilitate an intra-disciplinary faculty learning community (FLC). The main objective of the FLC has been to strengthen and sustain the development and promotion of scholarly activity in SoTL among linguists and to train a cohort of linguists who will promote inclusivity, mentoring, networking, and pedagogical development. The group has been meeting biweekly since Fall 2019, and their work has resulted in a resource page for scholarly teaching in linguistics, as well as an organized session on Scholarly Teaching in the Age of COVID-19 and Beyond at the 2021 annual meeting of the LSA, and another on Small Teaching Toward Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Linguistics in 2022. The group was also instrumental in successfully proposing the Scholarly Teaching Special Interest Group (SIG).

Professor Temkin Martinez’s work on innovative pedagogy has earned her several grants for improving linguistics education at Boise State University, and in 2017 she delivered the Annual Pedagogy Lecture at the Ohio State University. She has also been recognized for her mentorship of undergraduate students through several campus awards at Boise State, including the David S. Taylor Award for Service to Students, and the Golden Apple Teaching Award. 


I am delighted at this opportunity to stand for election to the Executive Committee of the LSA. Having served on several committees and initiatives of the Society since I was a graduate student I do not take this role, or the responsibility that would come with it, lightly. As scholars in a relatively small disciplinary field, and members of a small professional organization like the LSA, I believe that the key to our success is grounded in ensuring that every member is invited to contribute to the conversation, and that we examine the practices that have led some to opt out, and have excluded others altogether. In recent years, members of the LSA have led initiatives to draw attention to some of the more egregious practices of exclusion in the Society, and have made these efforts public through statements and policy changes. Though some progress has been made, these initiatives must be sustained in the culture of the Society as iterative collective processes that transcend the efforts of any single member or small group.

During my tenure on the Executive Committee, I also hope to promote further opportunities for growth in our disciplinary mentorship practices. Having had thoughtful and compassionate mentors myself, I understand the power that intentional mentorship has in changing individuals’ career trajectories, and also in helping us reimagine the contours of our field. Acknowledging the advances in mentorship made by LSA members and committees, I would like to lead the Society in an effort to take stock of practices and systems currently in place for mentoring a wide range of linguists, from high school and college students to community members to mid-career scholars. By doing so, we can determine how the LSA can better support current efforts and build more robust structures and systems toward our collective success.

Lastly, because much of what the LSA accomplishes is initiated by the wider membership through volunteers on open committees, I would like to work with the Secretariat to continue improving the on-boarding process for committee leaders, and the support that committees receive throughout the year from the EC and the Secretariat. I would also like to seek out better ways for committees to communicate and collaborate with one another, and for members to more clearly identify the ways that their committee’s charge fits within the larger mission and vision of the Society.  

I am honored by this nomination and by the prospect of serving the membership in this role. 

Wanting the LSA to thrive as a society and linguistics as a discipline, I am hopeful that we can reflect on our practices, as new members and new perspectives continue to provide for expanding insight. Membership on the EC will provide me with the opportunity to listen and contribute to these efforts. 

Candidate for Co-Editor of Language

Shelome Gooden (University of Pittsburgh)

Shelome Gooden is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Pittsburgh and is currently Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research for the Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, and Related Fields. She received a BA in Linguistics from the University of the West Indies (Mona, 1996) and MA and PhD in Linguistics from the Ohio State University (2003).   She has served served on the advisory board for Creative Multilingualism, and for the past 16 years has served in various roles on the Executive committee of the Society of Pidgin and Creole Languages and has been member of the Society for Caribbean Linguistics for just over 25 years. Her research focuses mainly on language contact, intonation and prosody in Creole languages and combines sociolinguistic and laboratory phonology methods for collecting fieldwork data. 

Her peer-reviewed publications are a combination of journal articles, edited volumes, edited special issues of top Linguistics journals, high-profile conference proceedings and invited full-length articles to prestigious Handbooks.  She has served as article reviewer for 12 different peer reviewed research publications across the discipline, abstract reviewer for various national and international linguistics conferences and grant reviewer and panelist for the National Science Foundation. In her current leadership role, she leads research and prestigious award support for faculty across several disciplinary areas in the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences and professional fields.

Gooden’s recent publications include; In the Fisherman’s Net. Language Contact in a sociolinguistics context (in Blake & Buchstaller 2019); Language ideologies and shifting boundaries: A case study of Yami diphthongs (ay) and (aw), (with L. Lai 2018 Journal of Linguistic Geography); Intonation and Prosody in Creole Languages: An evolving ecology. Annual Review of Linguistics (2022). Finally, she is currently guest co-editor for a special issue of Language and Speech; co-editor of a volume for Language Sciences Press (Contact and Multilingualism) and is on the Editorial Advisory Committee for American Speech, 2020 -2023.


My linguistic history (UWI-Mona and Ohio State) has been heavily influenced by key theorists in Creole Studies, Contact Linguistics and general Linguistics and the collaborative spaces I was privy to. Central to this framing is the concept of a community of scholars, which is what I reflect on when I think of the mission of Language and its commitment to be in service of the wider academic community.

In 2007 I taught, alongside top scholars in the field, a session on the Theoretical and Applied Issues in the Study of Pidgins and Creoles at the LSA Summer institute (Stanford University). Since then, I have given several talks both here in the US and in the Caribbean, which can be broadly construed as Professionalism in Linguistics. Reflecting on these talks and feedback from the different audiences, I ask how Language as a journal can better develop and actively engage in activities geared at enhancing the research profiles of scholars in linguistics. 

As a journal of a learned society, I believe Language must continuously reassess its role in the national (and international) publishing landscape. Afterall learned societies have historically contributed significantly to scholarly communication, and to supporting and training early-career researchers. As co-Editor I look forward to working with the Editor Dr. Beavers, the team of Associate editors and the wider linguistic community to strategically increase and broaden a greater diversity of research and scholarship in Linguistics.

I have extensive academic leadership experiences which I believe will serve me well as Co-Editor. Central to my collaborative leadership style is the importance of partnership and community. My vision as co-Editor centers on supporting research development of our scholarly community and their research contributions, both of which align with strategic goals of the LSA. First regarding goal 1; foster inclusiveness and community, with efforts geared towards advancing research for scholars whose demographics are historically underrepresented in linguistics.  By this I intend to help to broaden the range of researchers and the language varieties that are represented in Language.  This might involve; partnering – to draw on current strengths of the different affiliate learned societies of the LSA, that would then lead to more submissions across a fuller spectrum of disciplines; connecting – to help researchers find new interdisciplinary collaborations/partners across disciplines (goals 3&4); curating – highlighting publishing opportunities for researchers, especially minoritized faculty who might not take advantage of the opportunity to publish in Language. This would help integrate and better engage with affiliate professional groups into the larger mission of the LSA, beyond the ritual joint annual meetings. Curation might also involve setting up a collaborative mentor-reviewer submission process to engage scholars at different career stages (goal 1E). Efforts such as this would help Language get closer to its goal of increasing the breadth of topics covered and diversity of research done by the wider linguistics community. Another benefit would be to squarely address professional inequities for minoritized scholars in the language sciences  

I think that a significant role for Language, as the flagship journal of the LSA, then is a deeper and more critical engagement with parts of the stated mission, advancement of the scientific study of language and broadly engaging a demographically diverse membership. As a generalist journal, this engagement would necessarily focus attention on supporting and advancing fields of knowledge from a broader perspective and including a more diverse range of scholars and language varieties, so that our science of language truly rests on a wider representation of languages and voices. 

Scholarship truly lives and thrives in a community. It is said that scholars are known as much for their controversies as for their research and scholarship.  It is my hope that through this co-editorship, together we can forge an improved vision of who we are so that we are known more for the latter than the former.

Finally, being Co-Editor is a sort of a homecoming for the Department of Linguistics at the University of Pittsburgh since Dr. Sally Thomason a former Pitt linguist, has previously served Language in an editorial capacity. Pitt linguistics has as its core an eclectic range of scholarly expertise simultaneously grounded in empiricism and praxis.