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LINGUISTIC SOCIETY OF AMERICA
AT THE ORGANIZATION MEETING IN NEW YORK, DECEMBER 28, 1924
On the morning of December 28th, 1924, a meeting for the purpose of organizing a linguistic society was held in the American Museum of Natural History, 77th Street and Central Park West, New York City, in accordance with the call issued by Professor Leonard Bloomfield, Professor G. M. Bolling, and Professor E. H. Sturtevant, with the approval and over the signatures also of twenty-six other scholars in linguistics.
The registration desk was presided over by Mr. J. R. Ware and Mr.
Petersen, T. C.
Prokosch, Edward Boas, Franz
Kantor, J. R.
Pugh, Anna R.
Quimby, E. S.
Remy, A. F. J.
Robbins, H. V.
Rockwell, L. L.
Saleski, R. E.
Shumway, D. B.
Stenberg, T. T.
Malécot, G. L.
Sturtevant, E, H.
Tanzer, Helen H.
Thacker, N. L.
Todd, H. A.
Ware, J. R.
The meeting was called to order at 10.15 o'clock by Professor G. M. Bolling, who moved that Professor Roland G. Kent take the chair. The motion was seconded and carried. Upon election, Professor Kent stated that he appreciated the honor and asked the help of all present in an effort to conduct the meeting efficiently, without loss of valuable time.
Professor Truman Michelson was duly elected Temporary Secretary, and read the call of the meeting.
Dr. Edward Sapir then stated the need of a new society for linguistic studies, and moved that the project be approved and a society be formed. The motion was seconded by Professor H. G. Doyle, and was carried.
At this point the Chairman, Professor Kent, read the following letter of greeting from the American Philological Association:
THE UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT
at New York, December 28, 1924. My dear Professor Kent:
The spirit of the pioneer in ancient Hellas found expression in the founding of new colonies, but this did not break the bond which held the colonists to the mother-city; it did not lessen their filial affection, nor decrease her interest in her absent citizens.
The AMERICAN PHILOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION, through its Executive Committee, sends its best wishes to the OIKIETAI-many of whom are its members of the new philological ANTOIKIA, THE LINGUISTIC SOCIETY OF AMERICA. Along with its felicitations it expresses the confident belief that the spirit of Whitney and others of its own founders will live in the new Society; and the earnest hope that there may be always the closest fellowship and coöperation between the latter and the parent organizations.
For the Executive Committee,
It was moved and seconded that a suitable reply be made in answer to this greeting, and that it be carried by Mr. J. R. Ware, who was leaving immediately after the close of the sessions of the Linguistic Society of America, for Chicago, where he would attend the meeting of the American Philological Association. The motion was carried, and the following reply was presented and approved:
THE LINGUISTIC SOCIETY OF AMERICA
New York, December 28, 1924 Professor SAMUEL ELIOT BASSETT, President of the AMERICAN PHILOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION,
In session at Chicago, Illinois. My dear President Bassett:
The LINGUISTIC SOCIETY OF AMERICA, just at this moment coming into existence, receives with deepest appreciation the good wishes and felicitations which you, Sir, have extended to it on behalf of the AMERICAN PHILOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION and of its Executive Committee, and expresses to you and to the ASSOCIATION its heartfelt thanks.
The SOCIETY echoes your hope and belief that the two organizations will persist in mutual fellowship and coöperation, aiding each other in the promotion of the schloarly aims which they share in common; and the SOCIETY wishes also to record its belief that those scholars who have common membership will, through the increased opportunity of action, develop an even greater loyalty to both organizations.
Accordingly, the new ANOIKIA to which you, jointly with others, in the fashion of the city-states of ancient Greece, are sending scholar-colonists, pledges its uninterrupted devotion to those older foundations from which they come, and bespeaks your continued sympathetic interest and support.
For the LINGUISTIC SOCIETY OF AMERICA, (signed) Roland G. Kent,
Chairman of the Organization Meeting.
[It may not be out of place to insert here the following, received at a later date from the Secretary of the Modern Language Association of America:
THE MODERN LANGUAGE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA
Incorporated 1900 Carleton Brown, Secretary
Bryn Mawr, Pa., Jan. 30, 1925 My dear Professor Kent:
At the recent meeting of the M. L. A. held in New York City, the following resolution was unanimously adopted:
Resolved: that the Modern Language Association of America extends a cordial welcome to the Linguistic Society of America as an ally in pronoting scientific linguistic research, and that this Association gives assurance of its desire to coöperate in every possible way in promoting the common objects of the two organizations.
It affords me much pleasure to send you, as Secretary of the L. S. A., the record of this action.
Very sincerely yours,
(signed) Carleton Brown.
In reply, the Secretary of the Society wrote to Professor Brown as follows: "I desire to express my appreciation of your cordial letter on behalf of the M. L. A. and of the hearty welcome extended to our Society by your Association ..."
The Chair, after a motion had been made and carried giving authority, appointed a Committee of Five to Draft a Constitution. This Committee consisted of Professor Sturtevant, Chairman; Professor Gertrude H. Beggs; Professor Bolling; Professor J. L. Gerig; Dr. Edward Sapir. The Chair spoke briefly of certain difficulties which were to be guarded against in the administration of the Society.
Professor Sturtevant, as Chairman of the committee just named, now presented a draft of the constitution, with alternative proposals where there was no agreement in the committee. After much discussion and amendment, the constitution was adopted in the form which is printed later in this issue of LANGUAGE.
Upon due authorization, the Chair appointed as Committee on Nominations Professor Edward Prokosch, Chairman, Professor Helen H. Tanzer, and Dr. Pliny E. Goddard; and as Committee on Resolutions Professor Daniel B. Shumway, Chairman, Dr. Edward Sapir, and Professor William F. Wyatt. A Committee on Cooperation with Older Societies in Matters of Mutual Interest, to consist of five members, was authorized, but not named.
[This Committee, as later appointed by President Hermann Collitz, consists of Professor Roland G. Kent, Chairman; Professor Leonard Bloomfield; Professor Franklin Edgerton; Professor Truman Michelson; Professor C. W. E. Miller.]
At 12.45 P.M., adjournment was taken until 2.30 P.M., and those in attendance lunched together at a neighboring hotel.
The Society reconvened promptly at 2.30. It was moved by Professor Edgerton that the Society should undertake a regular independent publication, either quarterly or annually, as might seem best. After discussion, the motion was carried.
The Committee on Nominations proposed the following as officers for 1925, and the Secretary, by direction of the Society, cast one ballot for them, thereby effecting their election:
President, Professor Hermann Collitz, Johns Hopkins University. Vice-President, Professor Carl D. Buck, University of Chicago. Secretary, Professor Roland G. Kent, University of Pennsylvania. Treasurer, Professor Roland G. Kent, University of Pennsylvania. Executive Committee, the preceding and
Professor Franz Boas, Columbia University.
Professor Edgar Howard Sturtevant, Yale University.
Professor George Melville Bolling, Ohio State University.
Dr. Edward Sapir, Victoria Museum, Ottawa. [It escaped the notice of the Committee on Nominations that the Committee on Publications was to consist of four members instead of three and that one of them was to be designated as Chairman of the Committee, while at this first election the remainder were to be designated for terms of three, two, one years respectively. With the approval of the Executive Committee, the Secretary drew lots to determine the terms of office, and assigned the Chairmanship for 1925 to the one who drew the three year term. This resulted in the following arrangement:
Term expiring 1927: Professor Bolling, Chairman for 1925.
A letter from the Secretary of the American Philological Association was read, inviting the Linguistic Society to meet with them next year. (Since the meeting, the Secretary of the Modern Language Association has presented a similar invitation to meet with that Association, at Chicago. The American Philological Association will meet at Ithaca. Both Associations meet on December 29–31, 1925.) The arrangement of the time and place of the next meeting was referred to the Executive Committee, with power to act.
It was voted that the Executive Committee be instructed to seek admittance for the Society to the Council of Learned Societies Devoted to Humanistic Studies.
It was voted that the Executive Committee be instructed to investigate the subject of affiliation with Section L (Historical and Philological Sciences) of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and to report at the next meeting of the Society.
The Committee on Resolutions recommended the following, which was adopted:
The members of the Linguistic Society of America wish to express their appreciation of the courtesy of the President and Trustees of the American Museum of Natural History in placing a lecture room at their disposal for the purpose of their meetings, on December 28th, 1924.
It was voted that the Society extend its greetings to the Société de