Focus on Societies

Linguistic Society of America

The Linguistic Society of America (LSA) is a scholarly professional association whose mission is to advance the scientific study of language. Founded in 1924, the LSA offers a variety of programs and services to meet the needs of the linguistics community and the broader interests of society in the role that language plays in human interactions. The LSA’s activities are centered on five primary areas of interest:

  • Disseminating scholarly research in the field of linguistics through peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations.
  • Providing advanced training in linguistics via courses and workshops offered at the biennial Linguistic Institutes, CoLang, the LSA annual meeting, and other occasional conferences and events.
  • Serving the professional needs of the linguistics community for resources to help advance their careers, including the awarding of student fellowships, endowed professorships, travel funds, and other prizes for scholarly accomplishment and service to the field.
  • Advocating for the field of linguistics before a variety of decision-makers, including elected officials, government funding agencies, and academic administrators.
  • Demonstrating the value of linguistics research to society as a whole, via the dissemination of information and resources to students, parents, policy-makers, the news media, and colleagues in related fields of humanistic and scientific inquiry.

The LSA has thousands of members throughout the world, with a majority based in North America. Almost one-third of our members are students pursuing a degree in linguistics from an academic institution. The LSA maintains administrative offices located in Washington, DC, staffed by a small team of permanent employees, paid consultants, and student interns. The Society is governed by an 11-member Executive Committee which is elected by the LSA membership.  A cadre of eminent scholars edits the LSA’s publications and manages the peer review process for research disseminated by the Society. Many LSA programs and projects are carried out by a variety of committees and special interest groups focused on a range of issues and concerns.

Membership in the LSA is open to any interested individual. Subscriptions to its print publications may be purchased directly from LSA, and many are freely available online. The LSA welcomes charitable contributions to support its various programs serving readers, students, linguists, and others with an interest in the scientific study of language.

More information about the LSA may be found on its website, including resources for the general public describing a range of issues pertaining to language and linguistics.