Revision History

  • adopted December 5, 1981
  • amended December 1986
  • amended January 2008
  • amended January 2012
  • amended January 2019


  1. Name & Object
  2. Membership & Dues
  3. Officers & Committees
  4. Meetings
  5. Activities
  6. Ratification
  7. Amendments

Article 1: Name & Object

  2. Its object shall be the advancement of the scientific study of the Indigenous languages of North, Central, and South America.

Article 2: Membership & Dues

  1. Any person may become a member by payment of dues. Only members may vote and hold office in the Society.
  2. Each year, each member shall pay to the Secretary/Treasurer an annual fee as dues, in an amount fixed by the Executive Committee. A member who does not pay dues within the time prescribed shall forfeit the rights of membership (as hereinafter specified) while default continues; but these rights shall be restored on the payment of all arrears. A member whose dues are in arrears at the end of the second year of not paying dues shall be automatically dropped from the rolls of the Society.

Article 3: Officers & Committees

  1. The Officers shall be a President, a Vice President, and an Immediate Past President. The Vice President shall have the additional title of President-Elect.
  2. The President shall serve for two years and shall take office at the conclusion of the annual meeting held in alternate years. Following the end of his or her term, the President shall serve an additional two years as Immediate Past President. The President shall preside at meetings of the Society and of the Executive Committee, shall appoint such non-elective committees as may be required, and shall be empowered to make an interim appointment to fill a vacancy in any office until elections can be held.
  3. The Vice President shall serve for two years. The Vice President shall perform the functions of the President in the latter’s absence and shall succeed to the presidency at the end of his or her term as Vice President.
  4. The Executive Committee shall appoint a member of the Society to serve as Secretary/Treasurer, another member of the Society to serve as Program Committee Administrator, and another member of the Society to serve as Editor, each for a term of three years. These appointments may be renewable. The responsibilities of the Secretary/Treasurer shall include keeping the records of the transactions of the Society and acting as the chief fiscal officer and authorizing representative of the Society. The responsibilities of the Program Committee Administrator shall include all administrative work associated with the program and the running of the annual meeting. The responsibilities of the Editor shall include editing the Society’s website and other publications. The Secretary/Treasurer, the Program Committee Administrator, and the Editor may be assigned further responsibilities by the President and the Executive Committee.
  5. There shall be an Executive Committee, composed of the President, the Vice President, the Immediate Past President, and three other members of the Society, one of the three being elected each year to serve for three years and to be ineligible for immediate reelection. The Secretary/Treasurer, the Program Committee Administrator, and the Editor shall be ex-officio members of the Executive Committee, without vote. The Executive Committee shall have power to take any action that the Society itself could take, but all its acts must be reported to the Society at the next annual meeting. A quorum of the Executive Committee shall consist of no fewer than four of its voting members. The Executive Committee shall meet at least once annually, at the time of the annual meeting of the Society, and may also meet at other times upon the call of the President. The Secretary/Treasurer may ask the Executive Committee to vote upon specific questions by mail, and shall do so at the request of any member of the Committee. If four or more members of the Committee shall vote by mail for or against any measure thus submitted, that vote shall be decisive. The Executive Committee shall nominate at least two persons for each position to be filled on the Nominating Committee.
  6. There shall be a Nominating Committee consisting of three members, one of them being elected each year to serve for three years. The senior member shall serve as chair. Each year, the Nominating Committee shall nominate at least one person for the at-large position to be filled on the Executive Committee, and in alternate years, shall also nominate at least one person for the position of Vice President.
  7. There shall be a Program Committee consisting of the Executive Committee sitting ex officio or a subcommittee appointed by them. The Program Committee shall have at least three members and will include the Program Administrator. The Program Committee shall have responsibility for the scholarly content of the Society’s meetings and for recommending general policies on the form of the meetings to the Executive Committee for action. 
  8. A ballot shall be submitted to all members in good standing not less than two months in advance of the annual meeting. The ballot shall contain the nominees for the positions to be filled on the Executive Committee and the Nominating Committee, and in alternate years for the position of Vice President. The ballot shall allow for a vote against all nominees for a given office. In order to be elected, a nominee for a given office must receive a majority of those replies received by the Executive Secretary/Treasurer as of the announced date of the close of the election. If no nominee for a given office receives a majority of the votes cast, the office shall be filled by a special election at the next meeting of the Society.

Article 4: Meetings

  1. There shall be an annual meeting of the Society, at such time and place as shall be determined by the Executive Committee. A quorum shall consist of those present at the meeting, as determined by the Secretary/Treasurer.
  2. The Executive Committee may call special meetings of the Society.
  3. Titles and descriptions of papers to be read before the Society must be approved for presentation beforehand by the Program Committee.

Article 5: Activities

  1. The Society shall manage the SSILA website.
  2. The Society may engage in other activities in furtherance of its goals, by action of the Executive Committee or through a motion adopted at a meeting of the Society.

Article 6: Ratification

  1. These Bylaws shall be considered in force and binding upon the Society after approval by a meeting of the Society called for that purpose.
  2. Upon adoption of these Bylaws the aforesaid meeting of the Society shall elect a President, Vice President, and Secretary/Treasurer, who shall serve in those offices until the regular annual meeting of the Society to be held the year following the one in which these Bylaws are adopted. It shall also elect three members to the Executive Committee, one to serve the same term as the Officers previously elected, the second to serve one additional year, and the third to serve two additional years. The Executive Committee shall then meet and appoint a Nominating Committee of three members, with terms of one, two, and three years, as described above for the Executive Committee.

Article 7: Amendments

  1. Any proposed amendment to these Bylaws must be submitted in writing to the Secretary/Treasurer, signed by at least ten members of the Society in good standing. This will be submitted to the members at the time of the regular election of officers. An amendment must have the approval of two-thirds of the members voting.
Updated: October 29, 2019 — 6:26 pm