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Linguistic Society of America Statement on Race

A summary of our 2018 Linguistic Society of America Symposium may be found here:

Linguistic Society of America Statement on Race

Approved by the LSA Executive Committee, May 2019

The final version of the LSA’s Statement on Race as approved by the LSA Executive Committee may be found here:

We invite you to email us directly regarding the statement or to leave comments here.

We invite scholars to reach out to us with their responses to this work and these questions so that this conversation is inclusive and represents perspectives on race from the widest number of scholars possible. We recognize that any such effort is never complete and that our notions of race, and discussion about it, are constantly expanding, changing, and even in dispute. We also recognize that models of race are different across the world, and as a result we particularly invite comment from scholars who work on race in communities located outside of the U.S. We invite direct commentary about the following questions in particular:

  • Why in 2018, do we need a statement on race? What is race anyway?
  • What racial questions are currently allowable in linguistics and which ones should we be asking?
  • What existing racial theories is linguistics drawing from?
  • Who should be included in the citations in an LSA Statement on Race?
  • How are theories of race and previous work on race operationalized in linguistics and linguistic research?
  • How might would specific and unique insights from linguistics influence other statements, models, and research on race?
  • What can linguistics uniquely or in combination with other models contribute to our understanding of race and how does that intersect with other statements?
  • How can people from underrepresented racial groups be empowered in linguistics? How linguistics can be less racist?

We look forward to continuing the conversation.


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