Greeting from Yukio Otsu, the 2nd president

Yukio Otsu
The 2nd Chairperson of JSLS

Dear Member,

I have been elected chairperson of the Japanese Society for Linguistic Sciences, succeeding Yuriko Oshima-Takane, the first Chairperson, who has been instrumental in bringing JSLS to its present form. As many of you are
well-aware, JSLS started as a society closely related to the JCHAT activities. In the course of time, as the number of members grew, the scope of activities expanded well beyond JCHAT. Thus, we changed our name to its present form, hoping that JSLS will become a useful forum among researchers of diverse fields including linguistics, psychology, education, computer science, brain science, and philosophy, among others. One thing I would like to emphasize in connection with this is that we will not commit ourselves to one or a few particular theoretical
frameworks. We will accept any scientific endeavor that aims to contribute to a better understanding of the human mind and brain through language.

One matter JSLS has to change immediately is to improve our financial situation. Although our budget is not in the red, we need more financial stability in order to expand and enrich our activities, such as the annual publication of our journal, which is currently published every two years. I would also like members to be aware that
board members living outside Tokyo pay their own transportation fees every time they come to Tokyo to attend board meetings. This is not how things should be. One thing I would like to ask you is to spread the word about JSLS among your friends and colleagues and let them know how
wonderful our Society is, thereby making them feel like joining JSLS.
Increasing membership is the best and most stable remedy for improving our financial situation. Also, if you know someone who is very active in the area(s) you are working in, tell them to join JSLS. Addition of such researchers would certainly attract prospective members to JSLS, and will consequently lead to the increase of the members.

Concerning the organizational aspects of JSLS, I proposed to form a new committee called the Executive Board to regularly discuss various JSLS issues face-to-face. It consists of the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary General, and several members of the Board nominated by the Chairperson. The Executive Board members meet approximately four times a year. The meeting is open to Board members, who are welcome to attend as observers. In addition, the minutes will be distributed among the Board members through e-mail. The new committee does not have the right to make any decision. The ultimate decision concerning JSLS activities would be made either through votes of the Board or the general membership, depending on the nature of the issue, just as before.

In every phase of JSLS activities, I would like to honor the spirit of minimalism. Namely, we will limit our activities to what must be done. We will not commit ourselves to things that may be simply useful or worthwhile because it will require additional effort on the part of the member(s). Academic societies are primarily for the
advancement of relevant fields, and at least for the time being, we would like to concentrate our efforts on this single point.

JSLS continues to be international and its activities are carried out bilingually in Japanese and English. The choice of these two languages is, I believe, obvious. Japanese is the mother tongue of many of us and English is an invaluable tool in international academic avenues.

As our Society has only a very short history, your continued and strong support is inevitable for its betterment. On this occasion, I would like to ask all the members to actively participate in the Society’s activities as well as to contribute to the Society by introducing prospective members to it. As your Chairperson, I would
like to make every effort to make our Society a better one, and to let people outside the Society realize the worthwhile activities that our Society is engaging in for the advancement of linguistic sciences.

Yukio Otsu
The 2nd Chairperson of JSLS
October 2001