LINGUIST List 6.388

Sat 18 Mar 1995

FYI: AAAS Annual Meeting in Atlanta

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  1. Vicki Fromkin, aaas

Message 1: aaas

Date: Wed, 08 Mar 95 09:52 PST
From: Vicki Fromkin <IYO1VAFMVS.OAC.UCLA.EDU>
Subject: aaas

What follows are the minutes of the meeting of Section Z - Linguistics
and the Language Science -- held during the Atlanta AAAS Annual Meeting.
The Section Committee hopes that this will be of interest to all linguists
and once again urges any linguist not yet a member of AAAS to join and
select Section Z as their priary affiliation. (A membership form follows
the minutes)
V. Fromkin, Section Z, Secretary


Section Z -- Linguistics & the Language Sciences
Section Meeting - February 17, 1995, 2 :30 - 5:30 pm
Marriott Marquis, Atlanta, GA.

Attendance: Retiring Chair Barbara Lust, Chair, Richie Kayne, Chair-
Elect Stephen Anderson, Chair Elect 1995 Sarah Thomason, Secretary,
Vicki Fromkin, Members of Steering Committee: Paul Chapin, Ilse
Lehiste, Paul Chapin, Section Z Representative to AAAS Council, Arnold
Zwicky, and 10-25 individuals (20 signed the attendance sheet).

(1) The meeting was called to order and chaired by Chair Richie Kayne.
The attendees were asked to introduce themselves.

(2) The minutes of the Feb. 21, 1993 Section Meeting were distributed
and approved.

(3) The results of the last election were reported: Sarah (Sally)
Thomason was elected Chair-Elect for 1995, and David Caplan was elected
Member at Large 1995 - 1998. The members of the steering committee for
1995 (as of February 21, 1995) therefore consist of: Retiring Chair
Richie Kayne, Chair Stephen Anderson, Chair Elect Sarah Thomason,
Secretary Victoria A. Fromkin, Members-at-Large:David Caplan, Paul
Chapin, Ilse Lehiste. Arnold Zwicky remains as the Council Delegate
through 1996.

The Chair expressed the appreciation of all members of Section Z to
retiring chair Barbara Lust (who will serve on the Council in 1995) and
David Pesetsky.

(4) Four sessions were sponsored by Section Z at this meeting:
Bilingualism: When is the Best Age to Learn a Second Language?;
Endangered Languages; Linguistic Science and Language Technology:
Machines and Human Language; Structures of Language: Batons for
Cognitive Science and Neuroscience. In addition, Section Z cosponsored a
session organized by the Psychology Section: Instincts to Learn.
Kenneth Hale presented one of the Topical Lectures -- The Scientific
Cost of the Global Loss of Linguistic Diversity. Ken Hale s lecture and
the session on Endangered Languages received a great deal of interest
from the press. (This issue made national press coverage by the time of
the Section Meeting,)

The Section extended its gratitude to the Session Organizers and
Speakers, and to Ken Hale for their efforts in bringing linguistics to
the general scientific community at the AAAS.

(5) Dr. Susan Speece, Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences at
Anderson University, Anderson IN, who has been appointed as Education
Liaison from the Education Section to Section Z was introduced. She
distributed copies of Life Science Standards and Curriculum Development
for K-12 and reported on the work of the Science Education Reform
committee of the National Research Council and asked for suggestions and
input from our section regarding science education K-12 and also
undergraduate science education., A discussion followed in which it was
announced that Stephen Crain is heading a committee of the Linguistic
Society of American on Linguistics in the Curriculum which is also
concerned with the teaching of linguistic science in the schools. It was
suggested that Crain be asked to contact Dr. Speece. Individuals were
urged to view the poster paper Linguistics in the Schools: Developing
an Epistemology of Science by Maya Honda and Wayne O Neil on display
from 10:30 to 3:30 on Saturday, February 18, in the Marriott South
Exhibit Hall. This poster paper is directly related to the subject under

(6) Budget. Vicki Fromkin reported on the budget situation. Up to this
meeting, Section Z received $2500/annum from the AAAS Office which was
supposed to cover the travel expenses of the section officers for the
annual meeting, refreshments, and any expenses of the ssponsored
sessions (organizers and speakers) that could be provided. Last year we
offered no support to symposia speakers. Thus, this year after
subtracting the probable expenses of the officers, the Section budget
total came to approximately $2500. Symposia organizers sent their
requests to Vicki Fromkin. After she determined the cheapest possible
fares of the speakers, she divided the sum so that no speaker who had
requested funds would suffer financially more than the others and
recommended to the AAAS staff that these sums be disbursed. This leaves
the Section with a zero balance.

At the Planning Committee which she attended, Vicki reported that the
staff had decided to change the section budgets. The expenses of the
officers would no longer be deducted from the Section allocation but
would be borne by the central office. However, the sections would now
receive much lower allocations; Section Z will only receive $1000/annum.

It is urgent that symposia organizers inform their invited speakers that
there is little if any money for expenses and speakers should attempt to
find money elsewhere.

(7) 1996 AAAS Annual Meeting, Baltimore, Maryland, 8-13 February 1996.
Proposals for Sessions are due APRIL 1, 1995.

A general discussion was held regarding sessions to be sponsored by
Section Z. The Section agreed that it would like to see the following
session organized. (Note that these are not necessarily the titles of
the symposia to be submitted but rather signify the contents we would
like to see presented.) (The name in parenthesis after each is the
person designated to contact the proposed organizers)

 I. Language in the Schools. Proposed Organizers Wayne O Neil,
Maya Honda, Walt Wolfram (Wayne O Neil)

 II. New Technology ( e.g. MRI, CT, PET) in the study of the
biology of language. Proposed organizer: David Caplan (V. Fromkin)

 III. The structure and acquisition of sign languages. Proposed
Organizer: Ursula Bellugi (V. Fromkin)

 IV. Child Language Acquisition. Proposed Organizer: Lila Gleitman
(V. Fromkin)

 V: Connectionism vs. symbolic systems models of cognition.
Proposed Organizer: Paul Smolensky ( Steve Anderson)

 (Following the meeting some of the members of the Section Steering
Committee proposed that Geoffrey Nunberg also be asked to submit a
proposal on prescriptivism/ the equality of dialects/ English Only
legislation or such related issues.Fromkin and Anderson will contact

 Barbara Lust informed the section that we also received a tentative
idea for a possible symposium from Lisa Menn (working with both LSA
and ASHA) which would be on theoretical, modeling and therapeutic
studies of the acquisition of phonology . This was referred to
Sharon Goldsmith of ASHA for further consideration for their

(8) 1997 AAAS Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington.
 An opening discussion on possible sessions for the Seattle meeting
was held It was suggested that individuals should submit proposals to
the NSF to fund sessions on reports of current research which would be
of interest to the scientific community. Such proposals should be
submitted to Paul Chapin by no later than July 15, 1995 in order to have
a funding decision from NSF by December 1995, in time to submit a
session proposal to the AAAS Program Committee.

(9) Membership. As of the time of the meeting, 169 members of AAAS had
selected Section Z as their primary affiliation, and according to Mike
Spinella (AAAS Staff, who attended the meeting briefly), 141 had
designated Section Z as their secondary affiliation and 205 as their
third. This total of 515 satisfies the AAAS requirements for
establishing Section Z as a permanent section of the AAAS. In the words
of Mike Spinella You re in! . However, it is important that we
continue to increase the members whose first affiliation is to our
section. We would like to see that number grow to a minimum of 400.

In the discussion on methods to increase membership it was suggested
that we ask the LSA if we can include a letter from the Section Chair
and Secretary in the regular mailings to Linguistic Department Chairs
asking if each department would subsidize the membership fee for one
member (probably the Chair) of the Department. If the Chair is already
a member, another person should be designated, who could be elected by
the faculty or determined in some other way. This would substantially
increase our membership.

Sharon Goldsmith from ASHA announced that she would be willing to place
a notice in the ASHA newsletters and publications which go to 80,000 of
their members. Paul Chapin agreed to draft a letter to send to ASHA for
this purpose. It was also suggested that a membership form be included
in the mailings. She also thanked Section Z for their support of the
symposium on Bilingualism which was organized by ASHA and introduced
David Kean, of the ASHA Research and Tehcnology Committee..

Barbara Lust suggested that we contact all the international
organizations such as LAGB who supported the formation of the new
section and ask them to publicize the Section and urge their members to

The question of the cost of joining AAAS was discussed. There was
confusion as to the cost of joining as a supporting member (without
receiving Science) particularly for foreign applicants. Mike Spinella
assured us that supporting memberships cost $35.00 for US, and all non-
US members. On the application form this $35. fee is stated only for
spouses of members, but we were assured that it is for anyone who joins
as a supporting member.

(10) Endangered Languages. Michael Strauss spoke on the importance of
our establishing ties with non-linguists concerned with conservation and
diversity, i.e. conservation biology, etc. David Harmon of the George
Wright Society of the World Parks Congress was introduced and told the
group that until recently he did not realize the extent of the problem
re maintaining linguistic diversity and the dangers facing endangered
languages. He supported the suggestion that linguists concerned with
this issue work together with other groups interested in cultural and
biological diversity and endangered species.

(11) At the 1994 meeting, it was agreed that it was important for
linguists to submit research articles to Science. This was reiterated.
It was pointed out that one cannot complain about the contents of the
journal and the heavy weighting toward biology if we do not submit
articles. Should they consistently be rejected we would then have
grounds for complaint.

(12) Vicki Fromkin announced that the International Congress of
Linguists (organized by the Permanent International Committee of
Linguistics, better known by its French initials CIPL) would be held in
Paris, in July of 1997.

(13) Michael Strauss, the Director of Annual Meetings on the AAAS
Staff and Estrella M. Triana, the Senior Program Associate, AAAS
Directorate for Education & Human Resources Programs were introduced.
Estrella Triana announced that 1998 was the 150th Anniversary of AAAS
and urged members to support the issuing of a AAAS commemorative stamp.
She also announced the fund raising drive for a new building, and
reminded members that Sections of the AAAS were entitled to hold
meetings in the AAAS building in Washington, DC.

The meeting was adjourned

Submitted by
V. Fromkin, Secretary Section Z


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