Minutes of the LAGB Business Meeting, held at the University of Luton on 11 September 1998. 1. Apologies were received from the Honorary Secretary, Anna Siewierska. 2. The members present expressed their thanks to John Payne, for the language tutorial, and to Vlad Zegarac, for all his work as local organiser. 3. Membership. Kersti Borjars presented comparative statistics on membership from 1995 and 1998, which showed a fairly substantial decrease, especially among subscribers to JL. KB undertook to report again at the AGM. Kersti Borjars' term as Membership Secretary expires at the Autumn Meeting 1999, but she is likely to be away at that point, and therefore wishes to resign from Spring 1999. Members are therefore encouraged to submit nominations for the post; details will be included in the next first circular. Members suggested some extra publicity when JL moves to three issues per year, and the committee agreed to look into this. [Action MG ; committee] 4. Finances Paul Rowlett reported that the Association's financial state is healthy. 100 dollars has been donated to LINGUIST; 240 pounds has been received as residual income from CLIE; the conference grants of 300 have been widely welcomed, and 10 have been taken up; and 20,000 pounds is currently earning good interest in a Co-Op Bank account. Since JL is likely to move to three issues per year from next year, extra costs will have to be passed on to subscribers, but althogh we have been advised that the likely increase will be around 10% (so, 3 pounds or so per subscription), no decisions can be made until the final costs are known. Bob Borsley agreed to ask CUP again about the date by which we should know these costs. 5. Meetings Secretary Marjolein Groefsema noted that we urgently need offers of venues for future conferences, beginning in September 2000. 6. President's Business a. Future speakers: The President confirmed that John McCarthy will be the guest speaker for the Manchester meeting (Spring 1999), with Jaklin Kornfilt giving the language tutorial on Turkish. For the York meeting (September 1999), Bernard Comrie will be the guest speaker, and Martin Haspelmath will give the language tutorial on Lesgian. It was decided that Mark Steedman should be invited as guest speaker for the UCL meeting in Spring 1998, with Geoff Pullum and Peter Sells being reconsidered at the next meeting for nomination at a later date. Members decided to invite Steve Harlow to give a language tutorial on Chinese, and if he were not available, to ask Gillian Ramchand to talk on Bengali. b. HEFCE and minority languages The President reported that LAGB is to be represented at a meeting with HEFCE in the next month, where the reduction in provision of minority language teaching in Universities is to be discussed. Any member with information on departments closed, posts not filled, and conversely, new posts in minority languages, should inform the President as soon as possible. It was agreed that a separate call should also go out to the LAGB list to this effect. Jim Miller asked whether the Scottish, Welsh and Irish funding councils could also be involved, and the President undertook to discuss this with Anna Davies and John Laver at the British Academy. [Action: DH] c. ALSISS Plans for the proposed Academy of the Social Sciences are moving forward, and the President reported that he expected to be asked shortly for an LAGB nomination for an Academician. One nomination is being sought from each constituent society; these would probably be vetted by a small committee. Members favoured a very cautious approach, and suggested that no nomination should be made at this stage. d. ESRC 'expert list' At the request of ESRC, the committee have made a list of linguists who can be consulted for comments on projects in particular areas. The President proposed to send this list to the ESRC; to announce its existence on the LAGB list; and to invite members who may wish to have a copy to write to him. Members would also be free to make further suggestions of names directly to ESRC, with a copy to the committee to allow for future revision of the list. These proposals were accepted. [Action: DH] e. Flemish pilot RAE project The Flemish Interuniversity Council has chosen linguistics as one of two disciplines for a pilot study in advance of a future RAE. The committee has supplied a copy of our membership list, and members may receive a questionnaire. In return, we will receive a copy of the final report, which may contain, for instance, rankings for journals and might therefore be of general interest. The President hoped that members would return these questionnaires where possible. f. Poster The President reported that one of the CUP designers is now working on the proposed joint CUP / LAGB poster, with a draft promised before Christmas. It is hoped that the final version will be available at the next meeting. 7. RAE 2001 A new chair is to be selected by the outgoing panel by the end of September, and all new panels should be in place by the end of 1998. LAGB, BAAL, BAAP and PhilSoc have been asked to produce lists of nominations for membership of the Linguistics panel, which will be further discussed at a meeting convened by John Laver (as new chair of the British Academy's Linguistics section) in the next month. Around 20 names are expected to go forward to the new panel chair from that joint meeting. The President asked members present to help compile a list of nominations, bearing in mind especially the necessary breadth of subject coverage per panel member, and a list of approximately 15 names was made. It was agreed that this should be further discussed by the committee, with the help of Nigel Vincent as outgoing panel chair. There was also discussion on three general issues: a. Members were in favour of the inclusion of an overseas member of the panel, as had been the case in the previous two exercises. b. Nigel Vincent confirmed that a remitting mechanism existed, whereby linguists in departments assessed by other panels can ask for their research to be considered by the Linguistics panel, or the assessing panel can involve the Linguistics panel. c. The LAGB should ask for clinical linguistics, forensic linguistics and speech science to be included in the stated remit for the Linguistics panel, to make it clear to researchers in those areas that the panel is willing to receive submissions under those headings. 8. Any Other Business Ruth Kempson asked that the association should consider: a. Having fewer than 3 parallel sessions at meetings. b. Holding 1 rather than 2 meetings each year. c. Producing proceedings. The President agreed to raise these issues on the list, and to bring these matters back to the next meeting. [In subsequent discussion the committee has decided that the issues are too complex to be raised on the list.] 6 October 1998 April McMahon Assistant Secretary