Registration is available beginning Tuesday, November 17 for the LSA's 2021 Annual Meeting, which will take place virtually from January 7-10, 2021, with ancillary events taking place, also virtually, outside the four days of the meeting. 

To register for the meeting, navigate to the 2021 Annual Meeting page and click the "register for meeting" button at the top of the page.  LSA members should log in to the LSA website before registering to obtain the member discount.         .

Please read below for answers to some F.A.Q. about the virtual Annual Meeting.  (Annual Meeting F.A.Q. written with an in-person meeting in mind are available here.)


Q: Why is the Annual Meeting being held virtually?  Why did the LSA wait so long to announce that the meeting would be virtual?

A: LSA staff have expected for many months that any attempt to hold the Annual Meeting in person and as scheduled would result at the very best in catastrophically low attendance because of multiple factors including reduced hotel capacities due to social distancing requirement; possible continuing restrictions on large gatherings; travel bans on international visitors; and unwillingness of attendees and staff to travel and gather in groups in the midst of a pandemic.  Prolonged negotiations with the host hotel finally resulted in the LSA being released from our contract to hold the 2021 Annual Meeting at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis.  Until that time, any unilateral move by the LSA to take the meeting virtual could have resulted in ruinously high (six-figure) damages owed to the hotel.

Q: I did not submit an abstract for the 2021 Annual Meeting because I could not afford to join the LSA in order to submit an abstract for a meeting I might not be able to attend.  Is the LSA planning any alternatives to the Annual Meeting?

A: Given the uncertainty until relatively late about the format of the Annual Meeting, we understand that some individuals may have chosen not to submit an abstract for a meeting which they did not expect they would be able to attend.  We are actively considering other ways to allow our members to present peer-reviewed research virtually some time during the period between the 2021 and 2022 Annual Meetings.

Q:  In what time zone will the Annual Meeting events take place?

A:  Pacific Standard Time (US)

Q: What are the registration dates for the Annual Meeting?

A: Registration will be availble beginning on November 16, 2020 and will continue through January 6, 2021. 

Q: Will the sesssions be live or prerecorded?

A: All sessions will be live and recorded where possible for later viewing by paid meeting registrants.

  • Organized sessions take place according to their individually designed schedules.
  • 20-minute paper sessions will consist of three 20-minute papers, each followed by 10 minutes of Q&A.
  • Posters will be grouped into sessions of approximately 8-10 posters.  Each hour-and-a-half poster session will consist of each poster presenter giving a short presentation about their poster, followed by general Q&A.

Q: How should I prepare for my virtual presentation?

A: LSA and PSAV staff will contact you with technical details as the conference date approaches.  In the meantime, we plan to hold pre-conference webinars to walk through the mechanics of participation for audience members and presenters alike.  Watch this space for tips on best practices for broadcasting virtual presentations.

Q: Will the schedule be the same as for an in-person meeting?

A: The schedule will be similar, but not exactly the same. In particular:

  • Poster sessions (see q&a above) will be in small sessions of 8-10 posters, not a plenary session of 75 as at an in-person meeting.
  • Any sessions lasting longer than 90 minutes will have a half-hour break in the middle.
  • Ancillary activities, such as the LSA Business Meeting, the Presidential Reception, committee meetings, and office hours, will take place outside the four days of the Annual Meeting.

Q: My presentation has been assigned to a session that takes place at an inconvenient time because of the time zone I will be participating from. How can I request a new time slot?

A: Contact the Director of Membership and Meetings with your request.  Please note the time that your presentation is currently scheduled for; your home time zone, including the difference from U.S. Pacific Standard Time; and the time(s) that would be more convenient.  We will attempt to accomodate your request.

Q: What are the registration fees for the Annual Meeting?

A: The Annual Meeting registration will be approximately one-third of the in-person registration fees for LSA members and one-half for nonmembers.  This is consistent with practice across a broad range of scholarly societies. 

  • LSA members -- students: $25.00
  • LSA members -- nonstudents: $100.00
  • Nonmembers - students: $75.00
  • Nonmembers - nonstudents: $210.00

Members of LSA Sister Societies are eligible to receive the LSA member rate.  Contact your society's administration for details.

Q: Why is the LSA charging a registration fee at all?  Isn't online conferencing free?

A: Webinar and video-conferencing are not free—especially when used at the scale of a 1000+ person conference with up to 10 sessions of various types taking place simultaneously. Not only is there a cost for the web technology, but managing a conference of this size requires us to hire an experienced technology company to make sure that everything runs smoothly. We have engaged PSAV to provide the platform and offer technological support.  The cost of providing ASL interpretation or captioning is another expense that the LSA must plan for whether the Annual Meeting is virtual or live.  Finally, the salaries of LSA staff who work throughout the year to plan and host the Annual Meeting are another expense that the LSA incurs regardless of the meeting format.  

Q: I cannot afford the registration fees because I have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  How can I attend the meeting?

A: Any current member of the LSA can request a dues reduction or waiver by completing this short survey.   LSA staff will contact you with further instructions.  Funds will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, with priority given to contingent faculty and graduate students.  Also available to student members of the LSA will be a number of registration waivers for minority scholars provided by the LSA's Committee on Ethnic Diversity in Linguistics (CEDL).

Q: Will you offer complimentary registration for LSA student member volunteers, as in the past?

A: Yes, and more complimentary registrations will be available than is usual at an in-person meeting! We will offer complimentary registration to approximately 90 LSA student members who agree to monitor one organized, poster, or 20-minute paper session and report any technical issues.  LSA student members will be contacted directly to sign up for a session.

Q: Will there be a virtual exhibit hall for publishers and other organizations to showcase their offerings?

A: Yes.  A virtual Exhibit Hall will operate during all four days of the Annual Meeting.  In addition, special virtual social events will give attendees a chance to meet exhibitor representatives "in person."