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The International Association for the Study of Child Language was founded following a meeting in Brno 1970, and a Governing Statute prepared at that time. Below is the text, as amended in 1993, 1996 and 2008.

Governing Statute

Whereas participants in the International Colloquium of Pedolinguistics at Brno in 1970 expressed their desire to establish an international association, and whereas participants in the International Symposium on First Language Acquisition at Florence in 1972 voted to constitute themselves an international association, therefore this Statute establishes the International Association for the Study of Child Language (L'Association Internationale pour l'Etude du Langage Enfantin).

  1. Purposes

    The purposes of the Association are to encourage the systematic study of child language, and to foster international and interdisciplinary cooperation in such study.

  2. Congress or Symposium

    The association shall sponsor an International Child Language Congress or Symposium every three years, to be held each time in a country other than the host country for the previous Congress or Symposium, to be planned by an Organizing Committee in consultation with the Executive Committee of the Association. The Regular Business Meeting of the Association shall be held in conjunction with each Congress or Symposium. Mail (regular or e-mail) ballots to the membership may also be used for IASCL between Congresses. In these cases, 51% of the ballots returned shall constitute a majority.

  3. Membership

    Membership in the Association shall be open to anyone with a professional interest in the study of child language. An individual becomes a member upon payment of the registration fee for the Symposium, such membership to continue until the first day of the next following Symposium. The registration fee shall be set by the Executive Committee in consultation with the Organizing committee of the Symposium for which the fee is paid; supplementary fees may be set for full privileges of attendance.

    Individuals who want to become members of the Association between congresses can do so upon payment of a membership fee set by the Executive Committee.

  4. Officers

    The officers of the Association shall be the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary and Treasurer. The officers shall be appointed by the Nominating and Appointing Committee at least two months prior to the congress and they will serve three-year terms. Special consideration should be given to the role of the Assistant Secretary and Treasurer given the need for continuity in the Association.

    The appointment of the officers will be ratified at the Business Meeting of the Association. The Nominating and Appointing Committee will request, via the Child Language Bulletin and other means as available, the membership to submit suggested nominations. Such nominations shall be submitted in writing, or the electronic equivalent (i.e. email). Nomination details shall include the mailing address of the nominee, a brief statement of his or her qualifications for office, his or her signature or other evidence of agreement, the signature and contact details of the nominator who must be a member of the Association. The Nominating and Appointing Committee may make additional nominations directly. The Nominating and Appointing Committee will appoint the new officers in consultation with the Executive Committee. In making their selection the members of the Committee will take into consideration the credentials of the nominees and the logistics of the organization of the next congress.

  5. Committees

    The Association shall have two standing committees: the Executive Committee and the Nominating and Appointing Committee. In addition, the President may from time to time, in consultation with the Executive Committee, appoint special committees for carrying out the purposes of the Association.

    The Executive Committee shall consist of 15 members elected for 6-year terms, elected approximately half at every Regular Business Meeting. In the election of members of the Executive Committee the effort shall be made to have maximum representation of different countries and in no case shall the Executive Committee include more than 3 members from the same country. The effort shall also be made to have broad representation of different disciplinary orientations, including linguistics and the language sciences; psychology and other human sciences; biological and medical sciences; and education. Officers of the Association and the editors of our two affiliated journals (Journal of Child Language and First Language) shall be members of the Executive Committee ex-officio, without privilege of vote. Seven members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum. The outgoing President of the Association will automatically become a member of the Executive Committee for the term following his or her term of service.

    The Nominating and Appointing Committee shall be appointed by the President no later than six months before a congress. It shall consist of three members, none of whom is currently an officer of the Association. First, the Committee will request nominations from the membership for the officers' positions. These nominations will have to have been approved by the nominees themselves. The Nominating and Appointing Committee may make additional nominations directly. Second, the appointment of the officers will be ratified at the Business Meeting of the Association. In making their selection the members of the Committee will take into consideration the credentials of the nominees and the logistics of the organization of the next congress. The Nominating and Appointing Committee will appoint new officers in consultation with the Executive Committee.

    The Nominating and Appointing Committee shall also submit a slate of nominees for the open positions on the Executive Committee. The slate will be based on suggested nominations from the membership, together with additional nominations from the Committee. The slate will preferably include twice as many nominees as there are open positions. Members shall cast as many votes as there are open positions on the Executive Committee. Nominees receiving the highest votes will be elected, subject to the requirement that no more than 3 members of the Executive Committee shall be from the same country. Balloting will take place no later than two months before the next congress when all appointments and elected member positions will be ratified at the Business Meeting. The President may upon consultation with members of the Executive Committee fill vacancies on committees. Such appointments shall stand until the next congress.

  6. Languages

    The official languages of the Association shall be English and French. In addition, communications presented at Symposia may be in the language(s) of the host country provided that a resume in English or French is provided.

  7. Site of Congress or Symposium

    The Executive Committee shall decide on the site of the next Congress or Symposium, normally within one year after the conclusion of a Congress or Symposium, on the basis of invitations from host countries and institutions. The Executive Committee will then notify the membership of the Association of this decision and will, in consultation with the host institution, select an organizing Committee of no more than ten members which will be representative of the Association and the host institution.

  8. Publications and Communications

    The Child Language Bulletin shall be the official organ of communication within the Association, distributed to all Association members. The Editor of the Bulletin shall be appointed by the President and will automatically become a member of the Executive Committee. The info-childes electronic bulletin board shall be used as a supplementary communications organ. The Association supports the Journal of Child Language and First Language as a forum for academic publication, and the Editors of these journals shall serve ex-officio on the Association Executive Board.

  9. Amendments

    Proposed amendments to this Statute shall be sent in writing to the President and the Secretary of the Association no later than one month prior to the Regular Business Meeting, and the Statute may be amended by a two-thirds vote at the Business Meeting.

  10. IASCL: A Registered Charity

    On November 21st, 2007, IASCL was granted charitable status by the Office of the Scotish Charity Regulators (OSCR), Registered Charity No, SC038873. For more information, see New Working Arrangements.