SCL Constitution


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1. This society shall be known as the Society for Caribbean Linguistics.
2. Its object shall be the advancement of the scientific study of language and language-related problems in the Caribbean area.

3. There shall be three (3) classes of personal membership: regular members, student members and honorary members. In addition, institutions may be granted a library membership which would entitle them to receive the publications of the Society.

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

5. An undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in the regular academic year as a candidate for a degree in a recognised college or university may become a student member on payment of dues. Student membership shall be limited to a maximum of six (6) years.

6. Any scholar of distinction in Caribbean linguistic studies who has been an active member of the SCL and has participated in and supported the activities of the society may be elected an honorary member by the Society on recommendation of the Executive Committee. The total number of honorary members shall not exceed ten (10), and not more than two (2) may be elected in one year.

7. On or before 31 October of each year, each regular and student member shall pay to the Treasurer an annual fee as dues, in an amount fixed by vote of the Society on recommendation of the Executive Committee. If such a member does not pay his/her dues within the time prescribed, s/he shall forfeit the rights of membership (as hereafter specified) while his/her default continues; but these rights shall be restored to him/her on the payment of all arrears. A member in default for four (4) years shall be dropped from membership unless the Executive Committee is satisfied that there are extenuating circumstances that need to be taken into account. A member may pay his/her dues in advance for one or more years, and such dues shall be considered as paid in full regardless of any change in the amount of dues voted by the Society after the date on which they were paid.

8. Upon retirement from the regular exercises of his/her profession, any member who has paid dues for twenty (20) years may, by vote of the Executive Committee, be relieved from the further payment of dues, without losing any of the rights of membership.

9. Only members of the Society may vote or hold office. All members shall receive the publications of the Society. Anyone may submit articles, reviews or longer works to be considered as possible contributions in the Society's publications.

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10. The Officers shall be a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and a Publications Officer.

11. The President shall serve for two (2) years, and shall take office at the conclusion of a general meeting. S/he shall preside at meetings of the Society and the Executive Committee. S/he shall present a biennial report to the Society, which shall be circulated to members.

12. The Vice-President shall serve two (2) years and shall perform the functions of the President in the latter's absence. S/he shall succeed to the Presidency in the following biennium.

13a. The Secretary shall serve for two (2) years and be eligible for re-election. His/her secretarial duties shall include keeping the record of the transactions of the society, and such functions as may be assigned by the President and the Executive Committee.

13b. The Treasurer shall serve for two (2) years and be eligible for re-election. As Treasurer of the Society, s/he shall be the Chief Fiscal Officer.

13c. The Publications Officer shall serve for two (2) years and be eligible for re-election. S/he shall supervise publications of the Society which are not the responsibility of the Programme Committee.

14. There shall be an Executive Committee to conduct the business of the Society and it shall be composed of the above Officers, the past President and two (2) other members of the Society, elected to serve for two (2) years and eligible for re-election. If any member of the Executive Committee does not attend a meeting of the Committee, s/he may, by written proxy, appoint a member of the Society to attend and vote in his/her stead. But no one person shall, by virtue of holding proxies, have the right to cast more than one vote. Between biennial meetings of the Society, the Executive Committee shall have at least one additional meeting. It 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 meeting. The meetings of the Executive Committee shall be open for observation by any member of the Society. Members may, with the permission of the Chairman, speak on any matter under discussion, but shall not have the right to vote. The Secretary may, on his/her own initiative, and shall at the request of any other member of the Committee, ask the Executive Committee to vote on any specific questions by mail, and if a majority of the Committee shall vote by mail for or against any measure thus submitted, that vote shall be decisive.

15. Should any Officer or Committee member (except the President) cease to hold his/her office for any reason, the Executive Committee shall declare the office vacant and within thirty (30) days, cause the vacancy to be filled by election.

16. Members of the Society attending a biennial general meeting shall nominate persons for the position of Vice-President and each vacant position on the Executive Committee. The conduct of elections shall be the responsibility of the Secretary unless the Secretary is himself/herself a candidate for election, in which case it shall be the duty of the Executive Committee to appoint a Returning Officer for the receipt and counting of the ballots.

17. For such purposes as may be specified from time to time by the Executive Committee, the President may appoint a Programme Committee comprising three (3) members to serve for a period specified by the Executive Committee. Such a committee may be charged with responsibilities for publications, scholarly aspects of the Society's meetings or other academic matters.

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18. All funds of the Society not required for current expenditure shall be invested by decision of the Executive Committee. There shall be an annual outside audit by a qualified Accountant.


19. There shall be a biennial general 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.

20. The Executive Committee may call special meetings of the Society.


21. Any proposed amendment to this constitution, not proposed at the biennial general meeting, must be submitted to the Secretary in writing, signed by at least seven (7) members of the Society. This will be sent out to the members with a request for a postal vote on the amendment within thirty (30) days. An amendment must have the approval of two-thirds of the members voting.

Amendments to the SCL Constitution were proposed and approved at the 2012 Biennial General Meeting in Nassau, Bahamas on 31 July 2012.

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Did you Know
Papiamento or Papiamentu is a Portuguese-based creole language spoken in the Dutch Caribbean. It is the most-widely spoken language on the Caribbean ABC islands, having official status in Aruba and Curaçao. Papiamento is also a recognised language in the Dutch public bodies of Bonaire, Sint-Eustatius and Saba. View more Caribbean country profiles.
Did you Know
There are at least 59 living languages spoken in the Caribbean today, including 4 endangered or nearly extinct languages. Visit our FAQS page to find out what they are.

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