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LASSO Constitution
(last revised 1/8/96)

Article I. Name and Object

  1. This organization shall be called the LINGUISTIC ASSOCIATION OF THE SOUTHWEST, the official acronym for which shall be LASSO.
  2. Its object is the advancement of the scientific study of language.
Article II. Membership
  1. There shall be two categories of membership: regular and student.

    1.1. Any person may become a regular member by vote of the Executive Committee and payment of dues.

    1.2. Any undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in the regular academic year at any recognized college or university may become a student member upon payment of dues. Student memberships shall be limited to a maximum of five years.

  2. The membership year shall be the calendar year, and payment of dues at any time during the year shall maintain a member in good standing. Failure to pay dues before December 31 shall render a member in default. Any member in default for two years shall be dropped from the membership.

  3. Only members in good standing may vote and hold office.

Article III. Offices and Committees

  1. The officers shall be a President, a Vice-President, and a Secretary-Treasurer. Assuming office at the close of the annual meeting, the President and Vice-President shall serve for one year, with the Secretary-Treasurer serving for a three year term, which may be renewed.

    1.1. The President shall preside at meetings of the Association and of the Executive Committee, shall appoint all non-elective committees, shall have the responsibility of determining whether the organization is functioning according to the Constitution, and shall appoint a member to fill a vacated position.

    1.2. The Vice-President shall perform the functions of the President in the latter's absence, shall succeed to the Presidency in the following year, shall be responsible for the program of the yearly meeting, shall inform the Secretary-Treasurer of the final program in time for the fall newsletter, and shall also be responsible for suggesting to the Executive Committee the site of the following meeting.
    1.3. The Secretary-Treasurer shall maintain records of the transactions of the Association, keep Minutes of Executive meetings, maintain all membership records, supervise the preparation and distribution of all official Association publications, and perform other duties specified herein or assigned by the President and Executive Committee. The Secretary-Treasurer shall be the chief fiscal officer of the Association, shall prepare, in consultation with the Budget Committee, and submit to the Executive Committee annually a complete statement of the financial condition of the Association, which, upon being reviewed by the Executive Committee, shall be distributed to the members.

  2. There shall be an Executive Committee composed of four voting ex officio members - namely, the three officers and the past president - and three elected members.

    2.1. The Executive Committee shall act for and represent the Association at all times except when the Association is itself assembled in its Annual Meeting. The Executive Committee shall nominate the Secretary-Treasurer, Editor, and editorial board. It shall exercise final authority in the interpretation of the Constitution.

    2.2. The Executive Committee shall meet at least once annually, just prior to the Annual Meeting of the Association. If any member of the Executive Committee does not attend a meeting of the committee, that member may designate a proxy.

    2.3. The term of an elected member of the Executive Committee shall be three years, with only one member being elected each year. No one who at the time of the election is serving on the Executive Committee in any capacity shall be eligible for election as an elected member of the committee.

  3. There shall be a Nominating Committee composed of three members elected by the Association.

    3.1. The term of each member shall be three years, with only one member being elected each year. The senior member shall serve as chair. The retiring member of the Committee shall not be eligible for reelection.

    3.2. The Nominating Committee shall annually nominate members to fill vacancies among the elective offices within the Association.

  4. There shall be a Program Committee, Local Arrangements Committee, Budget Committee, Development Committee, and Resolutions Committee, the composition of which are detailed in the by-laws.

  5. To hold any of the three offices named in the Constitution, a member must be a current resident of the region defined in Article 1 of the by-laws.

  6. Elections to Association offices shall be conducted in accordance with the rules laid down in the by-laws.
Article IV. Meetings
  1. There shall be an Annual Meeting of the Association at a time and place designated by the Executive Committee. The Annual Meeting shall consist of at least one business session and one or more scholarly sessions. A quorum shall consist of members present at the meeting.

  2. All scholarly aspects of the Annual Meeting shall be the responsibility of the Program Committee, all decisions of which shall be final.

Article V. Publications


  1. 1.1 The Association shall publish a journal, which shall be titled Southwest Journal of Linguistics.

    1.2. The editor of the journal shall be nominated by the Executive Committee and shall serve a three year term which may be renewed once.

    1.3. The editor shall be responsible for the publication of the journal of the organization, shall prepare a yearly report to be presented to the Executive Committee, and shall work closely with the Secretary-Treasurer on the records of the journal.

    1.4. The six members of the editorial board shall be nominated by the Executive Committee and shall serve three year overlapping terms which may be renewed.

    1.5. The journal shall include a list of the elected officers and committee members.

    1.6. The journal shall publish articles by LASSO members only.


  2. 2.1. The Association shall publish a newsletter.

    2.2 During the year, the newsletter shall contain: (1) a list of elected officers and committee members; (2) a section on "Southwest Research in Progress"; (3) a section on meetings and information of interest; (4) the current research priority as determined by the Executive Committee; (5) annual meeting information, including the deadline for submission of abstracts; (6) the complete program for the fall meeting; (7) the minutes of the Executive Committee meeting; (8) the actions of the business meeting; and (9) the yearly financial statement.

Article VI. Amendments

  1. Proposed amendments to this Constitution shall be submitted to the Secretary-Treasurer in writing, signed by at least five members of the Association. Balloting on Constitutional amendments shall be by mail only, with a quorum consisting of all ballots returned to the Secretary-Treasurer within the specified balloting period. An amendment to the Constitution requires a two-thirds majority of the quorum.

  2. Proposed amendments to the by-laws shall be submitted to the Secretary-Treasurer in writing, signed by at least five members of the Association. Balloting on by-law amendments shall, at the discretion of the Executive Committee, be conducted either by mail or during the business session of the Annual Meeting. By-law amendments require a simple majority of the quorum.

By-Laws to the Constitution of the Linguistic Association of the Southwest

Article I

The Linguistic Association of the Southwest is defined geographically as Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Article II

Annual dues shall be as follows: Regular members $15.00; student and non-employed members $7.50; library and institutional membership $30.00.

Article III

  1. In selecting nominees, the Nominating Committee shall strive to maintain geographical balance, but geographical location shall not be the deciding factor in selecting nominees.
  2. Balloting on nominees to elective offices of the Association shall be conducted during the business session of the Annual Meeting.
  3. The Vice President, in arranging the program, shall be in contact with the President and the Local Arrangements Committee. The last shall inform the others of the local research interest so that one part of the yearly program may be directed toward the local interest.
  4. The Local Arrangements Committee shall be appointed by the President. Each member of the committee shall serve for one year.
  5. The Local Arrangements Committee shall be responsible for (1) reserving hotel rooms and meeting rooms for the yearly meeting; (2) contacting publishers for a display of books and materials; (3) promoting the yearly meeting in the local media and at the area schools; and (4) providing refreshments during the meeting, within a budget set by the Budget Committee.
  6. The Budget Committee shall consist of two members, the Editor and Vice-President, plus the Secretary-Treasurer. It shall verify the financial records of the organization. It shall set an amount which the Local Arrangements Committee can spend for the yearly meeting.
  7. The Development Committee shall try to obtain media coverage of LASSO events, shall encourage liaison with related professional organizations in the area, shall seek ads for the journal, shall promote institutional memberships, shall appoint a LASSO member, in each geographical area, who will be responsible for publicizing LASSO events.
  8. The Resolutions Committee shall prepare resolutions to be presented at the yearly meeting.

Revised Constitution and By-Laws (as published in LASSO Newsletter 2.1, January 1983, adopted by mail ballot 2/15/83 (replacing the revised Constitution adopted 12/31/77 as published in Newsletter 1.1, November 1981, which replaced the original Constitution adopted October 1972.

Subsequent changes:

Position of Secretary-Treasurer changed to Executive Director, 10/21/89

Dues: Originally $5 regular and $2 student/retired/unemployed.
Changed to $10 regular and $5 student effective 1976.
Changed to $15 regular and $7.50 student effective 1982.
Changed in 1992 to $20 regular and $10 student but rescinded at 1993 meeting.
Changed in 1997 to $20 regular, $10 student, $50 institutional, $300 life effective 1999.
Changed in 1999 to $30 regular, $20 student, $50 institutional, $450 life effective 2001.
Changed in 2007 to $40 regular, $25 student, $65 institutional, $450 life effective 2001.

1990 meeting: "Speaker fees are to be limited to $200 plus hotel and travel expenses."

1991 meeting: "Two Helmut Esau awards may be made if appropriate."

1993 meeting: "Article 1 of the by-laws amended to include California in the geographical definition of LASSO."

1994 meeting: "Article 1 of the by-laws was amended entirely as follows: 'While the Linguistic Association of the Southwest is primarily interested in languages of the Southwestern United States, it shall draw its membership form any region in the world.'"

1995 meeting: added a new "Article IV Meetings" to the by-laws as follows:

  1. The opportunity to host an Annual Meeting is open to any LASSO member in good standing. Solicitation will be made at least once a year in the LASSO Newsletter. Interested persons, on behalf of organizations/institutions, shall submit to the Executive Committee a one to two page proposal including at least dates, organizing committee, and facilities available. By invitation, a spokesperson for the proposal may be present to answer questions at the appropriate Executive Committee meeting.
  2. The Executive Committee shall vary the location of the Annual Meeting sufficiently to provide geographic diversity from year to year.

2010 meeting: The following amendment was approved:

"Special tribute sessions during Annual Meetings that are designed to honor former professors, mentors, or those who have done significant service to LASSO:
•     Shall not conflict with other paper sessions or panels unless they consist of research papers in their honor.
•     Shall be submitted to the Executive Committee of LASSO for recommendation in conjunction with the program chair by the June 1 deadline for submissions for possible presentation at the Annual Meeting.
•     It is suggested that tributes, consisting of personal anecdotes, commendation and/or ‘roasting’, be planned to take place during plenary sessions or social events such as receptions and dinners so that everyone who wishes to do so may participate."

2012 meeting: The following amendment was approved:

"The journal shall henceforth be named The International Journal of the Linguistic Association of the Southwest


Please send comments on or suggestions for this page to: Devin Jenkins