Over the past 12 months, the LSA continued its ongoing programs and services on behalf of its mission: to advance the scientific study of language. Highlights of new and expanded activities are outlined below:

Scholarships, Professorships, Honors & Awards

  • Launched a major fundraising drive to establish a new student fellowship in honor of the late LSA President, Emmon Bach, reaching over 50 percent of its goal in just four months.
  • Awarded the first-ever Ivan Sag Student Fellowship and Charles Fillmore Professorship.
  • Expanded the number of student abstract awards in advance of the LSA 2016 Annual Meeting by 200%, with financial support from Marriott International.
  • Presented the first-ever Linguistics Journalism Award to Ben Zimmer.

Meetings, Institutes and Events

  • Collaborated with the organizers of CoLang (the Institute for Collaborative Language Research) and the Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO) to become a permanent co-sponsor of those events, including financial support for student participation.
  • Organized a webinar on Linguistics and Human Rights, in collaboration with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Public Outreach and Media Relations

  • Sponsored a linguistics booth at AAAS’ Family Science Days, attended by thousands of students and families from the San Jose, CA region.
  • With financial support from linguistics departments and programs, expanded the LSA News Stories Initiative, a broad-based effort to increase coverage of linguistics research in the popular news media.
  • Developed two new online resources for linguists on public outreach and media relations, to be published by the end of the year.

Professional Development and Education

  • Executed a cooperative agreement with the Wiki Ed Foundation to promote the use of Wikipedia as a teaching and learning resource in linguistics classrooms.
  • Expanded the curriculum and course materials available in its online Linguistic Academic Depository, which is a searchable clearinghouse of digital resources.


  • Organized the LSA’s first-ever Linguistics Advocacy Day in Congress, held in conjunction with the LSA Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.
  • Adopted a resolution opposing the use of Native American mascots for sports teams and related activities.


  • Relocated the LSA Secretariat offices, to accommodate a growing staff and an expanding set of programs and services.

Continuing Traditions

  • Sponsored the biennial Linguistic Institute at the University of Chicago, attended by hundreds of linguistics students, scholars and faculty from around the world; an LSA tradition since 1928.
  • Organized the LSA’s 89th Annual Meeting in Portland, OR, including a new set of skills-oriented mini-courses.
  • Continued a major expansion to its flagship journal, Language, publishing content in new online sections focused on: Teaching Linguistics, Historical Syntax, Phonological Analysis, Public Policy, and Perspectives. 
  • Issued a series of news releases about the latest research published in its journals and presented at its Annual Meeting, garnering significant coverage in prominent international media outlets.
  • Provided financial assistance and in-kind support for linguists seeking to attend the LSA Annual Meeting and access LSA publications.
  • Published a new volume of Semantics & Pragmatics, the platinum open-access journal of the LSA.
  • Hosted an open-access archive of all materials published under the auspices of eLanguage, the LSA’s scholarly digital publishing platform. The archive includes co-journal articles, book notices, extended abstracts, and conference proceedings.
  • Awarded travel grants to four student linguists to attend the LSA Annual Meeting, under the auspices of the LSA’s Committee on Ethnic Diversity.
  • Pursued a national policy agenda to facilitate the efforts of linguists and other scientists working to benefit society, including continued federal funding for linguistics research.
  • Represented linguists at national and international meetings of colleague organizations and through participation in coalitions and consortia working to advance science, the humanities, and higher education.
  • Defended linguistics departments and programs against threats of cuts or elimination by contacting administrators and officials and by working behind the scenes to provide data in support of the value of linguistics.