Date: Thu, 22 Dec 1994 06:49:20 CST


Subject: Re: your mail

In Message Wed, 21 Dec 1994 10:06:15 -0500,

"William A. Kretzschmar, Jr." billk[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] writes:

The claim that ADS could attract younger members through LSA also seems

to me to be far less clear than is supposed. In the current LSA program

there is a sociolinguistics session on Sunday AM but little else that I

would go to the meeting for. One of Walt Wolfram's students is giving a

paper in that session, but neither he nor anybody else of the 8 other

speakers listed is currently a member of ADS. This to me argues that LSA

participation is foreign to ADS, and that the people there even in a

related field do not see ADS as interesting or important to their

careers. If there were a few ADS members in the group, I would be all in

favor of linking up with LSA to try to collect the rest---but I just

don't believe that having our meeting with LSA would create a sea-change

in the views of younger scholars.

Just a minor correction, Bill. In the preliminary program, only the

papers selected by the Program Committee of the LSA are published. Other

concurrent meeting programs are included in the last program, which one gets

upon registration. What you say also applies to the Society for Pidgin and

Creole Linguistics, which has been meeting with the LSA for the past five

years and has greatly benefited from the association. Some of out more

theoretically oriented papers attract attendants from the larger LSA


To complement Dennis (Preston), I came to ADS from theoretical

linguistics. Some of the present membership may have come from the same

background, especially among who are not quantitatively oriented. I think

diversity in the kind of work published in AMERICAN SPEECH and the papers

presented at ADS meetings will determine in part whether or not there will

be new members from theoretical linguistics. Overall, scholars explore and

join associations that have something to offer them. Several theoreticians

look for associations that may offer them interesting new materials to work

with. So the consideration to add to the long list from Dennis is where,

between MLA and LSA, is there the kind of professional diversity that is

likely to enrich ADS in membership and professional diversity. I bet the LSA

comes first.


Salikoko S. Mufwene

University of Chicago

Dept. of Linguistics

1010 East 59th Street

Chicago, IL 60637


312-702-8531; fax: 312-702-9861