Language advocates on the Hill at the 2014 JNCL-NCLIS meetingLinguistics Research and Public Policy
LSA Advocacy and Legislation
External LSA Partners

Current and Pending Action Alerts:

Linguistics and NEH Funding

Native American Language Revitalization Legislation

FY 2019 Trump Administration Budget Proposal: Implications for Linguistics and Language

The Trump Administration’s proposed a budget for FY2019, which calls for cuts to the social sciences directorate of the NSF and once again proposes the elimination of the NEH

The 2020 Census Citizenship Question

The Trump Administration has proposed adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, which has the potential to greatly reduce response rates among underrepresented minorities. 

Previous Policy Alerts and Advocacy Initiatives:

Linguistic and Science Funding:

​The LSA is pleased to report that the recently concluded federal budget approval process for FY18 included a modest increase for both major funders of linguistics research: the NSF and the NEH. The latter agency had been targeted for complete elimination by the Trump Administration. In other positive news, the NIH’s efforts to reclassify most social science research involving human interventions as “clinical trials” was postponed as part of the budget process.

Native American Language Revitalization:

March For Science 2017:

New Resource: Issue Brief on Linguistics, Foreign Policy & National Security [pdf]

From promoting scientific research funding to supporting multilingual education, the LSA is active in a broad range of policy issues affecting language and linguistics.

LSA staff work with external organizations and internal groups to inform policymakers and opinion leaders about the important role of linguistics in benefiting the broader public. Members with an interest in policy issues are encouraged to stay informed and take part in the LSA's work.

Linguistics Research and Public Policy:

Linguistics research has important implications for policies relating to K-12 education, national security, technology, health care, the judicial system, and many other critical aspects of everyday life. Linguists have worked closely with officials in state and federal agencies to help shape and inform their policies governing a wide range of issues. Read more about the intersection of these topics in our Policy Issue Brief (pdf).

The intersection between language and public policy is explored in a new section of the LSA's scholarly journal, Language. This section on Language and Public Policy welcomes submissions from LSA members whose research is focused on these intersecting issues.

Advocacy and Legislation:

In recent years, the LSA has assumed a leadership role in the efforts of allied organizations to promote language documentation and revitalization work among tribal communities in North America, while also encouraging policymakers to support this work through related initiatives. The LSA frequently joins with other members of the scientific, humanistic and higher education communities in efforts to support and maintain federal funding for linguistics research, particularly via the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Department of Education. The LSA works to highlight the benefits of linguistics research and to share the need for policies that are informed by the latest studies in the field. More detailed information about the LSA's advocacy efforts on behalf of the humanities is available here. We are also active in opposition to efforts to establish English as the official, or only language, of the the USA. 

In January 2016, the LSA organized its first-ever Advocacy Day in conjunction with its Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. Attendees conducted Congressional office visits on the day before or after the conference was held. We encourage linguists to meet with elected officials in their home districts as well to share information about the value of linguistics research to their community and the nation.

On Earth Day, April 22nd, 2017, the LSA engaged in a formal partnership in an organized March for Science, in Washington D.C. See photos from the event on the LSA Facebook Page.

Over the years, the LSA has issued a series of statements, resolutions and endorsements on a range of policy issues relating to language and linguistics, as well as called attention to several human rights issues.

LSA Committees Active on Policy Issues:

The LSA invites interested members to join one of these committees and/or get more involved individually on linguistic policy issues.

LSA External Partners on Policy Issues:

The LSA partners with a diverse array of colleague organizations and coalitions to advance its policy agenda. For some organizations, the LSA has appointed official delegates and liaisons to enhance further collaboration. The organizations most active on policy issues affecting linguists include:

Many of these organizations offer free electronic resources, newsletters, and action alerts on issues of interest to linguists, which LSA members may subscribe to directly by contacting these organizations. 

Of particular interest may be CNSF's webinar (July 26th, 2018) entitled “Communicating the Value of NSF to Elected Officials”. The webinar focused on why continuing dialogue in the district is essential for communicating the value of science and offered advice about a range of ways for scientists and engineers to engage with elected officials while they are home in their districts. The accompanying presentation slides are available in PDF format.

CNSF Webinar: Communicating The Value of NSF to Elected Officials