Guidelines for the organization of the International Congress of Linguists


1. Responsibility CIPL

  1. CIPL is responsible for the organization of the International Congress of Linguists every five years, customarily between mid July and mid September. A Local Organizing Committee (LOC) will organize the Congress on behalf of CIPL.
    The Executive Committee (EC) of CIPL decides on the official languages of the congress. Their number must be kept to a minimum. The language of the host country may be among them.
  2. Those members of the LOC and the SC who are EC members have an imperative mandate by EC to the extent that EC has made any relevant decisions.

2. The congress program

The scientific program of the ICL should include the following:

  1. Plenary sessions: Each of these is constituted by one or two plenary lectures. There is at least one plenary session per day.
  2. Sections: Each of these is constituted by a topical area equal in scope to one of the substantive subdisciplines or research fields of linguistics, such as:
    • phonetics and phonology
    • morphology
    • syntax
    • semantics
    • lexicon
    • historical linguistics
    • typology
    • language endangerment and documentation
    • computational linguistics
    • psycholinguistics
    • sociolinguistics
  3. There may also be a section for miscellanea. The set of sections should be broadly representative of the field of linguistics. The number of sections has usually been about ten. Each section has a section organizer, who provides a state-of-the-art report. Sections take place in parallel to the extent necessary.
  1. Workshops: Each of these is organized around current more specialized research questions. Each workshop has its organizer. The workshops take place simultaneously with each other, but preferably not in parallel with the sections.

3. Choice of the venue

Any organization or institution that is a member of CIPL may organize the ICL. A linguist who wishes to organize an ICL may file an application, via the representative of a member institution in CIPL.
The EC chooses the venue for the ICL at least four years before it is to be held.

4. President of the Congress

  1. The EC appoints CIPL’s representative or an appropriate member of the organization providing the venue for the ICL, as President of the Congress.
  2. In order to be appointed, the presidential candidate has to declare, on behalf of the institution that is to be host to the congress, that the venue satisfies the requirements as formulated in article 5.
  3. The President of the congress draws up an agreement with CIPL to organize the Congress according to these guidelines.

5. Requirements for the Congress

  1. Special grants from governmental and local authorities.
  2. Sufficient accommodation for 1000-1500 participants (some of whom may be accompanied by their spouses) at various price levels, within reasonable distance to the Congress site.
  3. A large auditorium for plenary sessions and enough smaller rooms for sections and workshops.
  4. Catering facilities close to the Congress site.
  5. Technical facilities such as internet and computer facilities, projectors, screens, microphones etc.
  6. Good photocopy facilities.
  7. Adequate room for exhibiting books and publications for sale.
  8. (Public) transport facilities between the accommodation areas and the Congress location.
  9. One day of sightseeing and perhaps a reception for the Congress participants.

6. Local Organizing Committee (LOC)

  1. The President of the Congress is responsible for the appointment of a LOC. The LOC is composed at least of the following members:
    • president
    • vice-president
    • secretary
    • treasurer
    • publicity manager
  2. At least one member of the LOC must be a member of CIPL’s EC.
  3. Much  of the LOC business is practically oriented and it would be unrealistic for the CIPL representative to attend all LOC meetings, but the CIPL representative should be copied in concerning substantive issues and involved in decisions about them. The CIPL representative can then consult with the EC if necessary.

7. Responsibility of LOC

  1. The LOC is responsible on behalf of CIPL for the organization and administration (registration, accommodation, infrastructure etc.) of the Congress.
  2. It invites the plenary speakers and section organizers selected by the SC. It concludes the contracts with them (which notably contain the deadline mentioned in §10.b) and conducts correspondence with them.
  3. The LOC determines the set of benefits to be granted to the plenary speakers, section organizers and EC members (see article 11).
  4. The LOC is responsible for the publication of the Congress book to be distributed during registration (see article 10).
  5. The Treasurer is responsible for adequate and orderly accounting of the Congress.
  6. After the Congress the President of the LOC provides CIPL with an evaluation of the Congress. The text must contain a report on the success of the congress, the exact number of the participants of the Congress and a financial account comparing the budget with the actual result.

8. Scientific Committee (SC)

There is a SC affiliated to the LOC.

  1. Half of its members are proposed by the EC, the other half by the President of the Congress.
  2. The Chairman of the SC is appointed by the LOC in consent with the EC.
  3. The chair of the SC reports to the EC on major decisions taken by the SC. The EC as a whole has a veto on such decisions.
  4. Meetings of the SC should be virtual or email rather than physical meetings.

9. Responsibility of SC

The SC plans the program:

  1. It determines the topics for the plenary sessions and selects the plenary speakers. One of these is usually from the host country.
  2. It determines the topical areas for the sections and chooses their organizers.
  3. It selects the workshops to be held from among those proposed.
  4. It decides on the admission of contributions to sections on the basis of the abstracts and of a proposal of the section organizer.

10. Congress book

There will be a congress book, edited by the (president or) chair of the LOC and the Chairman of the SC and comprising the texts of the plenary lectures and the state-of-the-art reports of the section organizers.

  1. The EC draws up an agreement with the LOC such that the Congress book is available before the Congress starts.
  2. Plenary speakers and section organizers are expected to deliver a written version of their contributions by the deadline specified in their contracts. The LOC chair will take care of the correspondence between the invited authors and the LOC. The contract of a contributor who does not deliver the required article by the deadline may be annulled.
  3. All costs arising from the production of the congress book are paid by the LOC.

11. Finances

The LOC is responsible for the finances. In particular, there is no financial contribution from CIPL. 20% of the sum total of the registration fees is to be remitted to CIPL. It is expected that the LOC gets substantial financial support from the host university and/or other institutions.

Among other things, the following expenses are covered by the LOC:

  1. Plenary speakers receive free accommodation, are invited to the conference dinner, get reimbursed for their travel expenses, and their registration fee is waived.
  2. Section organizers get free accommodation, and their registration fee is waived and they are invited to the conference dinner.
  3. Members of the EC get free accommodation, are invited to the conference dinner and their registration fee is waived.
  4. The costs of 10 c. are paid by the LOC.
  5. Expenses of the SC and LOC meetings.

Leiden, May 2014