Minutes of the CLA General Meeting - 1998

Procès-verbaux en français:
Minutes in English:

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Linguistic Association, Inc.
Held on 29 May 1998, 4:20 - 5:30 p.m., Room 146 [Vanier], University of Ottawa.

1. Approval of agenda

The agenda for the annual general meeting was approved (C. Reinholtz, M-T. Vinet).

2. Approval of the minutes of the previous meeting

Minutes of the meeting of 1 June 1997 were approved (J. Chambers, E. Cowper).

3. Business arising from the minutes of 1 June 1997

i. Newsletter. D. Bouchard, CLA President, thanked Peter Avery and Yvan Rose for their diligent and effective work in preparing a distribution list for electronic publication of the Newsletter. This rapid and much less costly means of communication among CLA members will be used increasingly to distribute reports and items of news.

ii. Annual Proceedings Volume. Thanks were extended to those faculty members and students at the University of Calgary who have done a very good job of publishing the annual proceedings. Unfortunately, Calgary cannot continue doing this work, and, as of the date of the meeting, no other department has come forward to volunteer its services. The Association is hoping for a two or three year commitment to undertake this important effort, with the proceedings to be published henceforth in electronic format, for distribution on the world-wide web. Until arrangements for such publication are made, no plans can be made for the proceedings of the 1998 meeting.

iii. Student Award for Best Paper. As indicated at the 1997 meeting, there is to be an award for the best paper presented by a student at the annual meeting. Arrangements are in place for judging student papers by panels of judges, with the winner to be announced at the end of the annual meeting. Besides the recognition of excellence which the award indicates, the recipient will receive a certificate and a three-year membership in the Association.

iv. Constitution. A mail ballot inviting CLA members to vote for or against adoption of the proposed new constitution (sent in paper form with the December 1996 issue of the Canadian Journal of Linguistics) will be enclosed with the September 1997 issue of the journal.

4. Local Representative

Paul Hirschbuhler, local representative for the 1998 conference, was thanked in absentia for his organizational work which ensured the smooth running of the meetings. Thanks as well to Shana Poplack for the organization of the party held on 29 May.

5. Report of the Secretary-Treasurer

i. The Secretary-Treasurer drew members’ attention to the procedures for claiming partial travel subsidies, and in particular the need for original ticket stubs indicating the cost of travel.

ii. The report of the Secretary-Treasurer was distributed. The financial statement listed the following credits for the fiscal year 1 April 1997 - 31 March 1998:

Credits for the fiscal year

Opening balance: $22,853.24;

1997 SSHRCC grant: $5413;

Membership dues: $0;

Revenue from 1997 Learned Societies meeting: $317.75.

Total credits: $5,730.75.

By way of explanation for these figures, the Secretary-Treasurer indicated that membership fees paid to the University of Toronto Press are normally turned over to the Association quarterly. During the previous fiscal year, however, the Press intended to hold back on the hand-over of funds until the production and distribution of issues for the 1997 volume year of the Canadian Journal of Linguistics (which appeared in 1998). When reminded that their contract with the CLA required transfers of funds independently of the frequency or regularity of publication of the journal, the Press forwarded a cheque for $15,000, which reached the account only after the end of the fiscal year, and furthermore indicated that another $25,000 was on hand for the 1997 and 1998 volume years, to be transferred in early June 1998. Total credits during the fiscal year and the two months beyond its close are therefore in the order of $45,000 (before transfers to the Canadian Journal of Linguistics).

Debits for the year:

Transfer of funds to CJL: $0;

1997 Conference: $11,637.05 (= program [$570.31] + members’ travel [$7219.68] + Executive Council travel [$2982.73] + meal [265.68] + reception [299.29] + honoraria for joint session participants [300.00]);

Administrative expenses -- fax & phone charges, office supplies, postage, etc.: $287.32;

Membership fees: $2,174.78 (=HSSFC [$1,686]; travel of CLA Representative to HSSFC meeting [$234.07], International Permanent Committee of Linguists [$254.71]);

CLA Newsletter: $486.36;

Translation of Constitution: $290.88;

Student assistance: CLA web page; questionnaire analysis: $241.83.

Total debits: $15118.22.

Balance: deficit on year’s operations ($9387.47).

Closing balance: $13465.77.

As noted above, this closing balance for the fiscal year ending 31 March 1998 is augmented considerably by transfers from the University of Toronto Press of approximately $40,000 soon after the end of the fiscal year. However, transfers from the Association to the Journal during the current fiscal year of $40,000 (for expenses associated with the 1997 and 1998 volume years) will counterbalance this inflow of funds.

Other points raised in the report:

-the 1998 SSHRC grant will contain no ‘aid and administration’ component: the total to be shown in the 1998-99 report will be $3753, to be spent on members’ travel only;

- travel costs for the 1998 meeting are anticipated to be considerably lower than for 1997,

- the sum of $300 for honoraria given to participants in the 1997 joint CAAL/CLA session on Literacy and Oral Tradition in Native Languages and Native Language Training are to be recovered from an award granted by the HSSFC and to be reported as a credit in the 1998-99 report.

iii. Membership information

Geographical distribution of membership, 21 April 1998
[Figures for 1997 given in square brackets]

  Regular Student Honorary Institutions
AL 15[13] 6 [7] 0[0] 3 [3]
BC 26 [24] 18 [16] 2[3] 5 [5]
MB 3 [5] 3 [3] 0[0] 4 [4]
NB 7 [7] 1 [0] 0[0] 4 [4]
NF 8 [9] 5 [5] 2[1] 1 [1]
NS 4 [4] 0 [0] 0[0] 2 [2]
ON 64 [55] 36 [31] 8[10] 24 [23]
P.E.I. 2 [2] 0 [0] 0[0] 1 [1]
QU 38 [36] 26 [26] 6[7] 14 [13]
SK 4 [2] 2 [2] 0[0] 2 [2]
(Sub-total (171) [157] (97) [90] (19) [21] (60) [58])
USA 25 [19] 18 [16] 0[4] 222 [204]
Other 28 [14] 5 [4] 1 [3] 160 [145]
Totals 224 [190] 120 [110] 20 [28] 442 [407]
Overall total: 806 [735]

An increase of over 30 in the categories of regular and institutional members, and of 10 in student members, was noted with satisfaction. An explanation for the drop in numbers of ‘honorary’ members will be sought from the U of T Press: it is anticipated that figures given in 1997 included volumes sent to institutions for promotional reasons or for gifts, which should not have been included in the total for this category. The report was approved (A. Rochette, J. Lamarche), with thanks.

5. 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:

i. Volumes 41 & 42. The four issues of volume 41 (1996) of the Canadian Journal of Linguistics contain8 articles and 41 book reviews in 420 pages. The first three issues of volume 42 (1997) contain 10 articles and 15 book reviews in 378 pages, with the fourth (December) issue currently in production.

ii. Submission/acceptance. In 1997, 24 articles were submitted to the journal. Two of these will appear in the last issue of volume 42, 9 were accepted subject to revision by their authors, 2 are being evaluated, and 11 were rejected. Articles for the thematic issue on Grammar and Variation (guest editors: A-M. DiSciullo, R. Canac-Marquis & M. Tremblay) are at the stage of copy-editing and type-setting and should constitute the first issue of Volume 43 (March 1998). The final versions of articles accepted for the thematic issue on Austronesian languages (guest editors D. Massam & B. Miller) are due in the summer of 1998 and should appear as a double September & December issue for the volume year 1998. A further thematic issue on the acquisition of French as a first language will appear as an issue in the 1999 volume year.

iii. Other matters.

Renewal forms from the University of Toronto Press were late in being sent and contain errors. The form offers a three-year renewal option, which limits the Association’s ability to meet rising expenses by altering fee schedules, and indicates that the annual fee for regular members is $40, whereas it is in fact $45. Both errors are to be corrected in a replacement renewal form which will be sent to members by the Press.

Financial information will be available on the Association’s web site, following transfer of funds from the Association to the Journal. A sum of $20,000 for the 1997 volume year, and a further $20,000 for the 1998 volume year will be transferred [note that management expenses for the journal and for the subscription list are about $10,000 per volume year].

The competition for the three-year SSHRC grant is being held this year, with the grant to equal roughly half of the annual transfer from the Association to the Journal. It is anticipated that, with rising expenses in the production and distribution of the journal, a further $5,000 - $6,000 annually in transfers from the Association will be required at the end of the SSHRC grant period in three years time.

Finally, the Editor noted with some concern that the submission rate to the Journal, while stable in 1996 and 1997, was nevertheless low, especially as the number of submissions (24 in each of these two years) included articles invited for thematic issues. Furthermore, while no new thematic issues are at the planning stage, it is time to start thinking of themes which are of particular relevance to Canada. The Editor’s report was approved (E. Cowper, D. Heap), with an expression of thanks to Anne Rochette for her dedication and many hours of difficult work.

6. 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. After a call for further nominations from the floor, the following were declared elected (D. Walker, A. Laubstein):

Executive Committee

Vice-President: Henrietta Cedergren (UQAM)

Member-at-large: R. King (York)

Program Committee

Chair: Diane Massam (UToronto);

Members: Elizabeth Ritter (Calgary) and Darlene LaCharité (Laval)

Doug Walker was warmly thanked for his work as committee chair and for his six years of service on the Executive Committee.

7. Report of the Chair of the Program Committee

i. Abstract submission and acceptance. The committee chair, Walter Cichocki, provided the report summarized here. A total of 96 abstracts were submitted; 12 were rejected on grounds of time limitations (for an acceptance rate of 87.5%); 5 accepted abstracts were subsequently withdrawn. The distribution and acceptance rate by area were as follows: discourse analysis [2/1] (= 2 submitted, 1 accepted), historical linguistics [2/0], L1/L2 acquisition [8/7], morphology [10/9], phonetics [0/0], phonology [14/13], psycholinguistics [7/7], semantics [9/7], sign language [1/1], sociolinguistics [9/8], syntax [33/31].

ii. Committee membership. Henrietta Hung resigned her position as phonology specialist during 1997-98, and was replaced by Emmanuel Nikiema, who very kindly agreed to fill in on short notice.

iii Meeting of the Program Committee. The Program Committee (John Archibald, Eithne Guilfoyle, Emmanuel Nikiema and Mireille Tremblay) did not meet this year: business was conducted by fax, e-mail and telephone. This slowed down the work somewhat, with notification of acceptance / rejection of abstracts later than had been expected (late March vs. early March). Nevertheless, the Committee feels that the later deadline of 31 January for abstract submission is still reasonable.

iv. Electronic submission of abstracts. Despite a few technical problems, electronic submission was successful, and in most cases, sufficient, except for abstracts with special formatting requirements.

v. Posting of program on the Web. The preliminary version of the program and an update were posted on the web site. Attempts to send the program to conference participants by e-mail were reasonably but not entirely successful. In the future, the committee should send an electronic version of the program to all CLA members. It was suggested that a message alerting CLA members when information on the program becomes available on the web site could obviate problems of opening and reading e-mailed attachments.

The Chair thanked committee members as well as Phil Branigan, the CLA’s webmaster. Thanks in turn were expressed to Walter Cichocki for his years of service as Chair of the Program Committee, a job requiring many hours of work in preparation for each conference. The report was accepted (W. Cichocki, D. Walker).

8. Report of Representative to the Humanities and Social Sciences Federation of Canada.

Elizabeth Cowper, the CLA’s representative to the HSSFC, explained the three-part role of the Federation in organizing the annual Congress, in lobbying politicians and in assisting in the publication of books. Comments on conference organization may be forwarded through E. Cowper to the Federation. The lobbying role of the Federation is seen as crucial: governments are not focused on the importance of research in the social sciences and humanities, and are more inclined to direct funds to scientific and technological infrastructure projects than to the kinds of basic research conducted by linguists. The Federation is looking for success stories - 800-word media-ready profiles of research and teaching in the humanities and social sciences. The CLA executive council will be discussing this matter and making suggestions. The SSHRC’s Aid to Scholarly Publications program, run by the Federation, provides support for the publication of books. Graduate students and their supervisors should make themselves aware of this program and avail of it. Finally, fora provided by the Federation for discussion of the proposed Tri-Council Ethics Policy report were instrumental in the rejection of the proposal in its current form. The HSSFC representative’s report was accepted (A. Laubstein, K. Rice).

9. Other Business

i. Dates for 1999 meeting. The dates given to the CLA for its 1999 meeting in Sherbrooke are the 4, 5, 6 and 7 June (Friday to Monday). Marie-Thérèse Vinet will act as our local representative for the meeting, which may involve some activities taking place on the campus of Bishop’s University as well as on the campus of the Université de Sherbrooke.

ii. Thanks to outgoing President. Keren Rice, Vice-President of the CLA and incoming President, thanked Denis Bouchard for his work over the past two years, and especially his work on the new constitution and his efforts to improve communication among CLA representatives and members.

The meeting adjourned at 5:30 p.m. (E. Cowper, Y. Roberge).

Please note: Status of Women in Linguistics Committee

No report was made at the meeting. However, in a meeting held on 30 May 1998, a preliminary report on employment in linguistics in Canada, with data gathered from departments and program across the country (with several notable and important exceptions) was presented. Further information and analysis are to be posted to the web site. The following new members, with 2-year mandates expiring in 2000, were elected: Louise Beaulieu (Centre universitaire de Shippagan), Hamida Demirdache (UBC) and Charlotte Reinholtz (Queen’s).

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