Please save the date and plan to attend this virtual event on October, 26, 2020 from 3:45 - 5:00 pm ET. Details about the event were sent to members via an email announcement earlier this week:

As our Task Forces continue their work to develop recommendations for discussion at the Annual Business Meeting, we have been exploring mechanisms for addressing a broader range of issues raised in the context of the Open Letter. For example, we are concerned about power differentials and variations in generational perspectives that have come to the fore, and what the LSA might do to address those issues. To that end, we are planning to host a virtual Community Dialogue event on October 26th, so that the elected officers of the LSA have the opportunity to listen and respond to your questions and concerns. The event will feature responses both to questions and comments submitted in advance and to real-time queries from event participants. The live Q&A portion will be co-moderated by Executive Committee member Chris Kennedy and David Robinson, Director of Membership and Meetings.

To start the discussion, we invite your responses to the following questions:

  • What are the greatest challenges facing the linguistics community today? How might the LSA best address those challenges?
  • What are some of the best things happening in the linguistics community (recently or currently)? How might the LSA adapt, emulate, support or otherwise complement those things?

Please submit your comments and questions by October 22 by sending an email to this address. The comments box previously opened on this page has been closed temporarily, due to complaints about violations of our policy on comments

Once registration for this event is available, we will circulate that information to LSA members.

Best regards,

The LSA Executive Committee



So what? No actual discussion of the issues raised? No considerations of Pinkers contributions to linguistics? Is he simply to be executed for having (quite possibly well educated) opinions that don't mesh with what is "right"? I.e. the opinions given to you by the social regime of the extreme left? Don't get me wrong, I have a long history of siding with the left. It's just that none of it does any research any more. It just screams and throws at you some jargon that is supposed to make you feel bad. Seriously? You are supposed to be linguists. Do you even know what you are talking about? What does " power differentials and variations in generational perspectives"  even mean?? If we simply take the police violence tweets as an example, did you check the numbers? Did you do the research? If someone in the academic world questions your findings do you scream obscenities at him and have him removed from academia? No, you don't. You do what is right, you continue the discussion. Has anyone taken Pinker up on these claims? I'm quite sure they haven't and I despair at the fact that they would call themselves academics when they so blatantly refuse to do any research or come to an educated conclusion. And I haven't even started on the fact that "equality acts" regarding race are quite literally "systematic racism" and that if you think you're going to escape "gender essentialism" you are seriously deluded. If this kind of hysteria and unacademic behaviour is going to be the norm in the LSA I will very seriously consider removing myself from association with it. You may well say it's good riddance to bad rubbish, but I will wish you luck in your echo chamber of the screaming "social justice" minority. 

Thank you Tex, this is great! I agree we should prepare for rambling and clueless trolls, and your satire is spot on.

Sounds like when pinker calle us "deluded" and "out to lunch" for signing that letter. Good times. Not sure I needed a reprise but here we are.

This response was extremely vitriolic and does not address any of the facts of the situation. It's okay if you don't understand how gender or race work with regards to this situation, or why Pinker's actions before and after the letter have been terribly harmful, or why Pinker's work inside and outside of linguistics has been lacking in ethical and factual substance. That's all fine. Not everybody can be aware of the relative merits of every public figure. What's not fine is attacking the people who do understand this and have been taking action to try and improve the LSA and the field of linguistics in general by addressing these harms. The language you're using: "deluded," "hysteria," "unacademic behaviour," "echo chamber," "screaming"... need I go on? This kind of response is counterproductive and quite ignorant. I hope you will look into the facts surrounding this controversy rather than reproducing the talking points of the very person who has done so much damage to the profile of our field.