Minutes of the CLA General Meeting - 1997

Procès-verbaux en français:
Minutes in English:

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Linguistic Association Inc.
Held on 1 June 1997, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m., A-1046, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

  1. Industry Canada & HSSFC Representatives

    1. Industry Canada. David McCallum, an Industry Canada representative, outlined the current crisis in scholarly publishing: in the areas of science and technology especially, where the principal journals are increasingly controlled by a shrinking number of large publishers, costs are rising beyond the capacity of North American libraries to absorb them. Industry Canada wishes to publicize the crisis, and has worked with the Association of Universities & Colleges of Canada to produce the publication The Changing World of Scholarly Communication. Industry Canada wishes to promote the use of the Internet for non-profit scholarly communication, and requests that the CLA endorse their initiative to have the legitimacy of publishing in an electronic format recognized within the reward system for academics. A non-profit arrangement to establish parallel print & on-line publications has been set up with four partners, with the goal of converting about 20 journals, over a 2 to 3 year period, to new formats and modes of distribution. CLA members raised the question of how the Internet will handle the non-standard symbols common in linguistics: this was seen as a technical question, being worked on but yet to be resolved.

      In a motion later in the meeting, the CLA endorsed, with one abstention, a motion to recognize the legitimacy of peer-reviewed electronically distributed journals as a means of scholarly communication (E. Cowper, H. Rogers).

    2. HSSFC. John Scott, former co-president of the HSSFC, outlined the organization's recent activities. He indicated that the changes creating the new Federation would not alter the effectiveness of the Congress of Social Sciences and Humanities or services offered by the Federation. Programs such as the Breakfasts on the Hill are proving to be useful in expanding the frame of discourse among politicians. The committee on women in academic life continues its work. Our Association is asked to nominate a member: this nomination will be undertaken by the Executive. The Career Vision project is providing incentives for employers in the areas of environment and health to hire recent graduates in the social sciences and humanities. The Community Research and Information Crossroads [CRIC], created on a Dutch model, encourages communities to bring their questions to a centre, which will help develop and carry out a research program. The Federation was instrumental in reestablishing $65,000,000 in research funding in health services. The MRC had controlled all of these funds; humanists and social scientists will now have access to some of this funding. The Data Liberation Initiative is now in place: for a $12,000 fee, institutions have access to a wide range of Statistics Canada data. The new Congress will last for 11 (vs 15) days to help with the transfer of research findings. Fees are down: regular members of associations will pay $70 ($90 for late registrations), and unwaged registrants will pay $30. There will be a central infrastructure, but the venue will vary each year [1998 Ottawa; 1999 Sherbrooke; 2000 Edmonton].

  2. Approval of agenda

    The agenda for the annual general meeting was approved (E. Ritter, M. Tremblay).

  3. Approval of the minutes of the previous meeting

    Minutes of the meeting of 27 May 1996 were approved (P. Bhatt, E. Cowper).

  4. Business arising from the minutes of 27 May 1996

    1. Charitable status for the CLA. The Executive considered this matter on the basis of a thorough report provided by member-at-large Charlotte Reinholtz. Only narrowly focused activities, such as the provision of scholarships, qualify for this status. Because the establishment of these activities and of the separate accounting and administration procedures they entail would require a considerable commitment of time and energy, it was decided to defer pursuit of this status for now.

    2. Round-table discussion. Thanks to Keren Rice for organizing the panel on writing and publishing in linguistics.

    3. Newsletter. A francophone co-editor will be appointed to assist P. Avery in producing an electronic version of the Newsletter, which may be distributed by e-mail or via the web site. Paper copies will be made available by local CLA representatives, who will print copies from the web site and make them available at their institutions.

    4. Constitution Committee. D. Walker, CLA Past President, reported that the committee, consisting of Paul Pupier, Jack Chambers and Marie-Claude Boivin, had recently been busy on this matter, and that a report containing precise suggestions would emerge, on the basis of which a mail ballot would be conducted. The Chair thanked committee members, and invited CLA members to make their views known to the committee.

    5. Duties and responsibilities of Executive and Committee members. A listing provided largely by Sandra Clarke, CLA Past President in 1996, detailed the various functions of executive and committee members. The list has been distributed among the Executive and a report on its implementation will be made at the 1998 meeting.

  5. Report of the Chair of the Program Committee

    1. Abstract submission and acceptance. The committee chair, Walter Cichocki, provided the report summarized here. A total of 74 abstracts were submitted; 9 were rejected on grounds of merit (for an acceptance rate of 88%); 15 accepted abstracts were withdrawn. The distribution and acceptance rate by area were as follows: discourse analysis [1/0] (=1 submitted, 0 accepted), historical linguistics [2/2], L1/L2 acquisition [5/5], morphology [5/4], phonetics [3/3], phonology [14/13], psycholinguistics [5/5], semantics [7/6], sign language [1/1], sociolinguistics [7/5], syntax [23/20].

    2. Meeting of the Program Committee. The Program Committee (John Archibald, Eithne Guilfoyle, Henrietta Hung and Christine Tellier) recommends a change in the abstract submission date to 31 January. Notification of acceptance/rejections of abstracts would be done by e-mail about 1 March: the fact that almost all members who submitted abstracts (over 95%) have access to e-mail makes it possible to move to the later submission date. Electronic submission of abstracts was considered problematic and will not be implemented at this time. The Committee thanks outgoing member Christine Tellier for her service.

    3. Preliminary program on the Web. This year's program was posted on the CLA Web site thanks to the efforts of Phil Branigan. In the future, the Committee plans to post all information about the conference on the web site.

      The report, including the recommended change in submission date, was approved (W. Cichocki, L. Saxon). Discussion arising from the report included concerns about the number of late withdrawals and various suggestions, such as requiring confirmation by a given date of a member's intention to present. There appears to be no main trend among the reasons offered for withdrawal. A confirmation date of 1 May would allow just enough time for the committee chair to prepare the program: updated versions of the program will be posted to the web site.

      Thanks were expressed by the chair of the committee to Keren Rice for her work in organizing the round table on Writing and Publishing in linguistics and the joint CAAL/CLA session on Literacy and Oral Tradition in Native Languages and Native Language Training.

  6. Report of the Editor of the Canadian Journal of Linguistics

    The editor of the Canadian Journal of Linguistics, Anne Rochette, presented her annual report, summarized as follows:

    1. Volume 41. The first three issues of volume 41 of the Canadian Journal of Linguistics contains 6 articles (1 in French and 5 in English), and 26 book reviews (3 in French and 23 in English). The September issue will be sent to members in June; work on the production of the last issue of volume 41 is under way. [Volume 39 contained 6 articles, 4 review articles & 60 book reviews for a total of 378 pages. Volume 40: 12 articles, 0 review articles, 33 book reviews, 468 pages. The first 3 issues of volume 41: 6 articles, 0 review articles, 26 book reviews, 294 pages.]

    2. Submission/acceptance. In 1996, 24 articles were submitted to the Journal. Of these, 2 have already appeared in volume 41, 9 have been accepted subject to revision by their authors, 8 are still being evaluated (as of 1 June 1997) and 5 were rejected. [Data for previous years: 1994: 9 published, 19 rejected, 2 under revision, 0 under review, total 30; 1995: 10 published, 9 rejected, 1 under revision, 0 under review, total 200; 1996: 2 published, 5 rejected, 9 under revision, 8 under review, total 24.]

      The final versions of the articles accepted for the thematic issue on Celtic languages (guest editor: Eithne Guilfoyle) are due this summer and the issue should appear early next fall. Three other thematic issues have been tentatively approved by the editorial board: one on First Language Acquisition, focusing on French (guest editor: Daniel Valois), one on Grammar and Variation (guest editors Anne-Marie DiSciullo, Réjean Canac-Marquis & Mireille Tremblay), and one on Austronesian Languages (guest editors: Diane Massam & Barry Miller).

    3. SSHRCC grant. Under the Aid to Learned Journals program, our grant has increased from $8,654 to $9,661 per annum.

    4. Income / expenses. So far, the Journal has received a total of $35,566.68 in income from the SSHRCC, the CLA, sales of back issues, royalties and interest. Expenses for the first 2 issues of volume 41 were $22,738.27 and the estimated cost of the last 2 issues is $9,516 for an estimated total of $32,254.27. The accumulated deficit for the 4 years covered by the last SSHRCC grant is $11,960.94. The estimated surplus for 1996 is $3,312.41, which would reduce the deficit to $8,648.53.

      Discussion of the report indicated that thematic issues are welcome so long as the Journal is not exclusively thematic. The operating deficit has accumulated for a variety reasons, principally because the level of CLA support in the form of an annual transfer has been, up to this year, set at $12,000, whereas management expenses paid to the University of Toronto Press have mounted to about $10,000 annually. Journal management rates have been investigated and been found to be universally high. The Editor's report was approved (A. Rochette, H. Rogers).

  7. Report of the Secretary-Treasurer

    The report of the Secretary-Treasurer was distributed. The financial statement listed the following credits for the fiscal year 1 April 1996 - 31 March 1997: Opening balance: $24,511.98. 1996 SSHRCC grant: $7072; Membership dues: $25,664.42; Revenue from 1996 Learned Societies meeting: $391.24. Total credits: $33,127.66.

    Debits for the year: Transfer of funds to CJL: $20,000.00; 1995 Conference: $6,209.63 [program ($429.87) + members' travel ($3,135.25) + Executive Council travel ($2,644.51)]; Administrative expenses (fax & phone charges, office supplies, postage, etc.): $446.66; Membership fees: $2,152.11 [HSSFC ($1,686); travel of CLA Representative to HSSFC meeting ($257.89), International Permanent Committee of Linguists ($208.12)]: ; CLA Newsletter (translation): $300.00; Career paths questionnaire photocopying & distribution ($1,137.92) and translation ($800): $1,937.92; Annual Proceedings volume loan to Calgary: $2,500.00; 1997 Conference: travel for committee Chair ($859) + distribution of Call for Papers ($310.44) + courier charges ($9.63): $1,179.07; Student assistance: CLA web page; questionnaire analysis: $61.01. Total debits: $34,786.40; Balance = deficit on year's operations ($1,658.74). Closing balance: $22,853.24.

    Certain items in the report were discussed. The amount indicated under the heading 'membership dues' should increase following restructuring of fees, especially institutional fees, provided the increase is not so steep that institutions cease subscribing. Revenue from the annual meetings is not a significant income item: with association fees set at $15 for regular members and at $10 for students in 1998, the CLA should come closer to breaking even on expenses directly related to the conference, such as the production of the program, travel for Program Committee members, etc. The Association transferred $20,000 this year to the Canadian Journal of Linguistics, a departure from its usual $12,000 annual subsidy, in view of the mounting deficit of the CJL and the relatively healthy balance of the Association. Another factor in this increase is that the formula used to determine the size of the Journal's SSHRCC grant takes into account the amount of support offered by associations, and increases accordingly.

    Geographical distribution of membership, 17 April 1997
    [Figures for 1996 given in square brackets]

    AL13[15]7 [6]0 [0]3 [3]
    BC24 [32]16 [20]3 [3]5 [7]
    MB5 [7]3 [2]0 [0]4 [5]
    NB7 [7]0 [3]0 [0]4 [4]
    NF9 [8]5 [0]1 [1]1 [1]
    NS4 [3]0 [0]0 [0]2 [3]
    ON55 [57]31 [32]10 [5]23 [24]
    P.E.I.2 [2]0 [0]0 [0]1 [1]
    QU36 [39]26 [37]7 [7]13 [15]
    SK2 [2]2 [1]0 [0]2 [2]
    (Sub-total)(157) [172](90) [101](21) [16](58) [65]
    USA19 [19]16 [16]4 [0]204 [191]
    Other14 [15]4 [5]3 [1]145 [162]
    Totals190 [206]110 [122]28 [17]407 [418]735 [763]

    The drop in the number of regular and student members probably correlates with the centrality vs. peripherality of the venue for the annual meeting. Nevertheless, lapsed members will be encouraged to rejoin, probably with a letter accompanying a copy of the CLA Bulletin. The figure 28 in the 'honorary' category includes non-revenue generating subscriptions, such as to abstracting services, and does not exclusively represent past presidents of the Association.

    The report was approved (J. Black, K. Rice).

  8. Report of the Chair of the Nominating Committee

    Doug Walker, chair of the committee, proposed names of candidates for vacant positions on the CLA Executive and Standing Committees. Following a call for further nominations from the floor, the following were declared elected (D. Walker, A. Rochette):

    Program Committee: Walter Cichocki will continue for the third year of his four-year term, and Mireille Tremblay, Queen's University, will replace outgoing committee member Christine Tellier.

    Nominating Committee: Leslie Saxon, University of Victoria, and Philip Branigan, Memorial University, will replace outgoing committee members Daniel Valois and Rose-Marie Déchaine.

  9. Report of the Status of Women in Linguistics Committee

    Donna Lillian indicated that a preliminary report had been made during the Women's Lunch on the survey of career paths in linguistics. Insufficient data had come back from departments, partly because more and different questions needed to be asked: a revised questionnaire will be sent, asking for information on how much is paid to sessional instructors, the average length of contracts, etc. Results will be posted to the CLA's web site when they are available. Four of the six position on the committee have come vacant: David Heap and Donna Lillian are the two continuing members, and Deborah James, Elaine Gold and Lisa Matthewson are new members, with one position left to be filled. The report was moved and accepted (D. Lillian, R. Smyth).

  10. Canadian Linguistic Committee on Aboriginal Languages

    The mail ballot on the establishment of this committee resulted in 56 votes in favour and one opposed. Alana Johns reported that a survey had been distributed to determine what work in this area is being done, and by whom. The Committee (consisting of Irene Mazurkewich, Pat Shaw, Alana Johns, Keren Rice and Jessica Payeras) will compile the information it gathers and post it to the web site. A panel discussion on Literacy and Oral Tradition in Native Languages and Native Language Training had been organized for 2 June 1997. The committee has as part of its agenda to explore the publication of grammars of aboriginal languages: UBC Press will be publishing titles in its First Nations Languages series. The report was approved (A. Johns, L. Saxon).

  11. Other Business

    1. Linguistics in Nova Scotia. Jane Fee, Dalhousie University, spoke about the new interuniversity program designed to provide the Maritimes with its first recognized program in linguistics. Students will take courses at three Halifax universities (Dalhousie, St. Mary's and Mount St. Vincent) in their BA and BA (Honours) programs; no new resources will be needed, as the program will include existing courses in French, Anthropology and Speech Communication. It was moved and approved unanimously that the CLA indicate its support for this collaborative program through a letter to be written by the Secretary-Treasurer.

    2. Report by the CLA's representative to the HSSFC. Elizabeth Cowper attended the November meeting of the Federation in Ottawa, and reported on its attempts to promote the humanities & social sciences, including its Career Vision program. She has some thoughts on possible improvements in the Federation's approach and emphasis, and will communicate these to the Executive.

    3. Annual Proceedings. An electronic version of the annual proceedings volume is to be proposed to the Calgary editors: one implication of the change in format from paper to an electronic medium would be an increase in permitted length of articles, from the present 12 to a possible 20 pages.

    4. Student award. The Executive has decided to give an award for the best student presentation at the annual meeting. Adjudicated by an anonymous four person committee appointed by the Executive, the prize will be announced in the annual Newsletter, and carry with it a certificate and a three-year CLA membership.

    The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m. (P. Bhatt, J. Lumsden).

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