Latest news: 2020 Word of the Year is “Covid”

Constitution and Officers

President: Kathryn Remlinger, Grand Valley State University
President-Elect: Patricia Cukor-Avila, University of North Texas
Treasurer: Bill Kretszchmar, University of Georgia
Past President: Michael Adams, Indiana University at Bloomington
Vice President for Communications and Technology: Grant Barrett, A Way with Words
Executive Director, Julie Roberts, University of Vermont
Past Executive Secretary: Allan Metcalf, MacMurray College
Delegate to the ACLS: John Baugh, Washington University, 2020-2024

Executive Council Members
Marianna Di Paolo, University of Utah (2020)
Betsy Evans, University of Washington (2021)
Tyler Kendall, University of Oregon (2022)
Alicia Wassink, University of Washington (2024)

Nominating Committee
Sali A. Tagliamonte, University of Toronto (chair)
Sonja L. Lanehart, University of Texas at San Antonio
Michael Adams, Indiana University at Bloomington

Editor, Publication of the American Dialect Society (PADS): Natalie Schilling, Georgetown University

American Speech Editorial Board
Editor: Thomas Purnell, University of Wisconsin‑Madison
Associate Editor for Audio Features: Alexandra D’Arcy, University of Victoria
Associate Editor for Book Reviews: Katie Carmichael, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Associate Editor, Pedagogical Section: Jeffrey Reaser, North Carolina State University
Managing Editor: Charles E. Carson, Duke University Press

Editorial Advisory Committee

David Bowie, University of Alaska Anchorage
Betsy E. Evans, University of Washington
Jessica A. Grieser, University of Tennessee Knoxville
Lauren Hall-Lew, University of Edinburgh

Gabriela Alfaraz, Michigan State University
Anne Curzan, University of Michigan
Shelome Gooden, University of Pittsburgh
Erik Thomas, North Carolina State University

Elaine Chun, University of South Carolina
Jack Grieve, University of Birmingham
Sonja Lanehart, University of Arizona
Jim Wood, Yale University

Kurath Fund Trustees

Lisa Minnick (Western Michigan University), 2019-21
Susan Tamasi (Emory U), 2018-20
Edgar Schneider (U. Regensburg), 2017-19
Michael Adams (Indiana U.), 2016-18

Presidential Honorary Members 2018-21

Hayley Heaton, Michigan State University
Joel Schneier, North Carolina State University
Minnie Quartey Annan, Georgetown University

American Dialect Society Meetings
The Society holds its annual meeting in early January, at the same time and place as the Linguistic Society of America.

One highlight of the annual meetings of ADS is voting on the annual Word of the Year.

The Society also sponsors sessions at the national conventions of the Modern Language Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, the Dictionary Society of North America, and the International Linguistic Association, and regional meetings at the regional affiliates of the Modern Language Association. All these are announced in the ADS Newsletter.

American Dialect Society Constitution

Last modified June 2020.


The name of this association is the American Dialect Society.


The American Dialect Society is organized in the interest of the academic community and not for profit. Its object is the study of the English language in North America, together with other languages or dialects of other languages influencing it or influenced by it.


Membership is open to all persons interested in the object of the Society. Members are in good standing if they have paid dues for the current calendar year.

Dues are established by the Executive Council and are for the calendar year.

A person may become a life member by paying an amount set by the Executive Council. A life member shall be exempt from further payment of dues.

After retirement, a person who has been a member of the Society for 20 years may become an emeritus member with the privileges of voting, presenting papers, and receiving ADS communications.


The Society shall hold an annual meeting at such time and place as the Executive Council shall determine. The Business Meeting shall be held during the annual meeting. Those members in good standing present at the Business Meeting shall constitute a quorum.


The officers of the Society shall be a Vice President, a President, a Past President, and a Treasurer. Each shall hold office for two years beginning at the conclusion of the annual meeting at which the officer is elected.

The Vice President shall serve as the chair of the program committee for the annual meeting, shall perform the functions of the President during the latter’s absence or inability to serve, and shall succeed to the Presidency.

The President shall preside at the annual meeting and at meetings of the Executive Council. The President, or an appointed delegate, shall represent the Society in appropriate official functions. The President shall work with the Executive Director to promote the interests of the Society and shall succeed to the Past Presidency.

The Past President shall act as the liaison officer between the Society and the regional secretaries and at the annual meeting shall report upon their activities.

The Treasurer shall oversee the Society’s reserve funds and its annual operating budget in collaboration with the Executive Director to ensure the Society’s ability to meet its ongoing financial obligations, approve the funds of the Society for any unbudgeted expenditures between $2500 and $5000, or as may be ordered by the Board of Directors (approval of full board required for unbudgeted expenditures over $5,000), provide input on the ADS annual budget, and prepare a Treasurer’s Report and an annual investments performance report for each Executive Council meeting and the annual Members’ Business Meeting. The Executive Council shall approve the reports with such modifications as it deems appropriate.


There shall be an Executive Council, composed of the four elected officers, the Executive Director, the delegate to the American Council of Learned Societies, the Vice President for Communications and Technology, and four members-at-large, each elected by members in good standing present at the annual meeting, for a term of four years, one post falling vacant each year. All editors of ADS publications (American Speech, PADS, Linguistic Atlas Project) are ex-officio, non-voting members of the Executive Council.

The Executive Council shall convene at the annual meeting and at such other times as may be desirable and convenient. No member of the Executive Council may be represented by a proxy. Five members shall constitute a quorum.

When necessary, vote upon an immediate matter may be taken by means of an electronic mail ballot to be distributed by the Executive Director. For an electronic mail vote five affirmatives shall be required for passage.

The Executive Council shall direct the activities of the Society within the general policies determined by the membership.

The Executive Council shall appoint an Executive Director under such arrangements as the situation may require. The Executive Director shall serve as secretary of the annual meeting and of the meetings of the Executive Council. The Executive Director shall hold office for five years and may be reappointed. An audit of the Executive Director’s financial records shall be made annually by the Treasurer, and the results reported at the annual meeting. The Executive Director may be removed by a majority vote of the Executive Council in session at any annual meeting.

The Executive Council shall fill any vacancy occurring between business sessions.


The Nominating Committee shall consist of the two immediate Past Presidents, and one member elected by the Society at an Annual Business Meeting for a two-year term. The senior Past President shall chair the Nominating Committee.

Not less than 90 days before the annual meeting the Nominating Committee shall report to the Executive Director its nominees. Within 30 days of receiving this report the Executive Director shall inform the Society membership by mail or through the Newsletter of the Committee’s nominations. Additional nominations may be made by a petition signed by at least ten members in good standing, to be received by the Executive Director not later than 15 days before the annual meeting. Elections shall occur during the annual meeting.


Any resolution on political or social matters not clearly and immediately related to the purpose of the Society shall be submitted to a referendum vote of the members in good standing. A majority of those voting within the time limit set by the Executive Council shall prevail.


Proposed amendments to this constitution must be approved by five members of the Executive Council or submitted in a petition to the Executive Director 60 days prior to the annual meeting. The petition must be signed by at least ten members in good standing. The amendment shall be discussed and may be amended at the annual meeting and then submitted to a referendum by electronic mail of the members in good standing. A majority of those voting shall prevail.

American Dialect Society Bylaws


The Executive Council shall appoint the editors of the Society’s publications: the quarterly journal American Speech and the monograph series Publication of the American Dialect Society. Each shall hold office for an initial five-year term, after which each may be reappointed. Editors serving beyond their initial term will require reappointment every two years. After consultation with and upon the advice of the editors, the Executive Council shall appoint associate, assistant, and managing editors as needed. After consultation with and upon the advice of the editor of American Speech, the Executive Council shall appoint an Editorial Advisory Committee of twelve members serving three-year terms, four to be appointed each year.

Arrangements for publication and allocation of copyrights and reprint permission are governed by contracts drawn up by the Executive Council and executed jointly by the editors and the Executive Director.

Each editor shall make an annual report in person to the Executive Council. A written copy of such report shall be filed with the Executive Director.


The standing research committees of the Society shall be as follows: Regionalisms and Linguistic Geography, Usage, Non-English Dialects, New Words, and Proverbial Sayings. Members and chairs of these committees shall be appointed annually by the President with the advice of the Executive Council. Chairs of standing committees shall report on the committees’ activities at the annual meeting.

Ad hoc committees for the execution of particular tasks may be set up by vote of the Executive Council or the annual business meeting. Members and chairs of such committees shall be determined as are those of the standing committees.


The Executive Council may authorize the holding of regional meetings of the Society. Such regional meetings may be held during the conventions of the regional associations affiliated with the Modern Language Association or of the Canadian Linguistic Association or upon such other occasion as may seem desirable.

To facilitate the holding of regional meetings the Executive Council shall appoint regional secretaries, one for Canada and one for each region in which there is an affiliate of the Modern Language Association. Regional secretaries shall hold office for two years and may be reappointed. They shall have the responsibility of providing liaison with the Canadian Linguistic Association, the regional Modern Language Association affiliate, or any other appropriate organization in their region. They shall plan the program for the regional meeting with the assistance and counsel of the regional chairs or they may initiate, or cooperate in, such arrangements for a cosponsored meeting as regional circumstances may require.

At the regional meeting the Society members in good standing who are present shall elect a chair whose responsibility will be to preside at the next annual meeting and to assist the regional secretary in planning the program.

At least 30 days before the annual meeting each regional secretary shall report to the Past President the regional program and other relevant information. The Executive Council may invite regional secretaries to report in person at a Council meeting in order to consider matters of regional import.


At the appropriate time the Executive Council shall appoint a member to serve the customary four-year term as the Society’s delegate to the American Council of Learned Societies. Such a delegate may not serve two consecutive terms.

The Executive Council may appoint delegates to other learned societies whose purposes are consonant with that of the American Dialect Society. Such delegates shall hold office for two years and may be reappointed.


These bylaws may be amended by a majority of members in good standing present at an annual meeting.

Past American Dialect Society Presidents

Francis James Child, 1889-90
James Morgan Hart, 1891-92
James M. Garnett, 1893
Edward S. Sheldon, 1894-95
Charles H. Grandgent, 1896
George L. Kittredge, 1897
Oliver F. Emerson, 1898
Lewis F. Mott, 1899-00
George Hempl, 1901-05
Oliver F. Emerson, 1906-09
Raymond Weeks, 1910
Calvin Thomas, 1911-12
William E. Mead, 1913-15
James W. Bright, 1916-21
William Allan Neilson, 1922-37
Louise Pound, 1938-41
Harry Morgan Ayres, 1942-43
Kemp Malone, 1944-46
Atcheson L. Hench, 1947-48
Allen Walker Read, 1949-50
E.H. Criswell, 1951-52
James B. McMillan, 1953-55
Levette J. Davidson, 1956 (died 5/14/57)
Frederic G. Cassidy, 1958-59
Thomas Pyles, 1960-61
Albert H. Marckwardt, 1962-63
Allan F. Hubbell, 1964
Einar Haugen, 1965-66
Raven I. McDavid, 1967-68
David W. Maurer, 1969-70
Harold B. Allen, 1971-72
I. Willis Russell, 1973
Audrey R. Duckert, 1974-75
Lee A. Pederson, 1976
William R. Van Riper, 1977
A. Hood Roberts, 1978
John Algeo, 1979
Virginia G. McDavid, 1980
Marvin Carmony, 1981-82
A. Murray Kinloch, 1983-84
Thomas L. Clark, 1985-86
Richard W. Bailey, 1987-88
Thomas J. Creswell, 1989-90
Michael D. Linn, 1991-92
John Baugh, 1993-94
Lawrence M. Davis, 1995-96
Walt Wolfram, 1997-98
Ronald R. Butters, 1999-2000
Dennis R. Preston, 2001-02
Michael B. Montgomery, 2003-04
Joan H. Hall, 2005-06
William A. Kretzschmar, Jr., 2007-08
Connie C. Eble, 2009-10
Luanne von Schneidemesser, 2010-11
Jesse Sheidlower, 2011-12
Robert Bayley, 2012-13
Jesse Sheidlower, 2013-14
Robert Bayley, 2014-16
Sali Tagliamonte, 2016-17
Michael Adams, 2017-2018