About Societas Linguistica Europaea

The Societas Linguistica Europaea is the European Association for Linguistics. Its members may be Europeans or Non-Europeans. Its purpose is the advancement, in European countries and elsewhere, of the scientific study of language in all its aspects. As a member, you are entitled to access to Folia Linguistica and Folia Linguistica Historica, two refereed linguistic journals of internationally recognized standing.

Constitution of the SLE - download .pdf

Societas Linguistica Europaea Officers

At the 51st Annual Meeting, the following officers were elected. The last column shows the year that the current office term ends.



Universität Zürich


Universidade de Santiago de Compostela


Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań


KU Leuven


VU Amsterdam

Conference Manager

Université de Toulouse 2

Editor of Folia Linguistica

Universiteit van Amsterdam

Editor of Folia Linguistica Historica

Università degli studi del Piemonte Orientale

Executive Committee: the above plus

Universität des Saarlandes
Universität Zürich
University of Texas, San Antonio
University of Manchester
University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU)
Universiteit Leiden

Scientific Committee

National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Stockholm University
Meertens Instituut Amsterdam/Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Stockholm University

Nominating Committee

Adam Mickiewicz University Poznań
Università Ca' Foscari Venezia
University of Oslo
Universidad de Almería
CNRS LLACAN Villejuif, Paris

Societas Linguistica Europaea Honorary Members

Dik Bakker, Amsterdam

Ranko Bugarski, Beograd

Wolfgang Ulrich Dressler, Wien

Jacek Fisiak, Poznań (+)

Anna Giacalone Ramat, Pavia

Eva Hajicová, Praha

Paolo Ramat, Pavia

Jarmila Tárnyiková, Olomouc

Hans Henrich Hock, Urbana-Champaign

On the early history of the Societas Linguistica Europaea

The Societas Linguistica Europaea was founded by the Indo-Europeanist Johann Karl Werner Winter (25 October 1923 – 7 August 2010). Since 1949, he had been a member of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA). After his return to Europe in 1964, he took the initiative to create a European linguistic association. The Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE) was founded in 1966 in Kiel; Werner Winter kept himself in the background and acted as SLE’s Secretary.

Meeting in Kiel:

 “On 26 and 27 February 1966, more than 200 linguists from 18 countries met in Kiel (Germany) to discuss plans for the establishment of a European Linguistic Society. On the 27 February, the constitution of this society, to be called Societas Linguistica Europaea, was formally adopted, and officers were elected. The first President of the Societas, who is to serve until the 1967 meeting of the society scheduled to take place in Belgium, is André Martinet of the University of Paris, its first Vice-President, Wolfgang Steinitz of the Deutsche Akademie der Wissenschaften in Berlin.” (Press report)

It was no accident that the two major officers of the new Societas came from different parts of Europe, divided by the Iron Curtain. André Martinet (1908-1999), a French linguist, and Wolfgang Steinitz (1905-1967), a linguist and folklorist from the German Democratic Republic (DDR). It was Werner Winter’s intention to bring together linguists from Western and Eastern Europe to stimulate interaction and international cooperation among European linguists. The creation of the SLE made a considerable contribution to strengthening ties between European linguists by providing facilities for a fast and informal exchange of ideas. It aimed to bridge the gap between Eastern and Western Europe, although the purpose adopted at the meeting in Kiel could not make this explicit:

“Its (= of the SLE) purpose shall be the advancement, in European countries and elsewhere, of the scientific study of language in all its aspects.” (Constitution of the SLE)

SLE became a success almost immediately and in February 1969 there were some 600 members from all parts of Europe and beyond.

SLE was founded as a platform for the free exchange of views and the vigorous confrontation of ideas to assure the growth and enrichment of the field of linguistics, without adherence to any particular school of thought.

SLE organizes Annual Meetings and produces publications. The first issue of the SLE journal Folia Linguistica appeared in 1967 (published by Mouton, now De Gruyter-Mouton). At the initiative of Jacek Fisiak (Adam Mickiewicz University Poznań, Poland), the SLE started a second journal in 1980: Folia Linguistica Historica (also published by Mouton, now De Gruyter-Mouton).

Source: Camiel Hamans, 2015, ‘The Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE): Aim and early history’, Beiträge zur Geschichte der Sprachwissenschaft 25 (2), 287-302.

Presidents and Annual Meetings of the Societas Linguistica Europaea

1st col.: Ordinal number of the year of existence of SLE which begins at the respective Annual Meeting. 2nd col.: Year of the Annual Meeting and first calendar year of the one-year presidential term, which starts at the time of the Annual Meeting.

Running year of SLE Calender Year Official Nº Venue President
1 1966 Kiel André Martinet
2 1967 Brussels Björn Collinder
3 1968 1 Kiel Ludwik Zabrocki
4 1969 2 Vienna Eugenio Coseriu
5 1970 3 Prague Josef Vachek
6 1971 4 Leiden Eugenius M. Uhlenbeck
7 1972 5 Bologna Jacek Fisiak
8 1973 6 Poznań Robert Henry Robins
9 1974 7 Jyväskylä Eva Sivertsen
10 1975 8 Nottingham Rudolf Filipovic
11 1976 9 Salzburg Luigi Heilmann
12 1977 10 Vienna Nils Erik Enkvist
13 1978 11 Paris Bernard Pottier
14 1979 12 Jerusalem Otmar Werner
15 1980 13 Budapest Wolfgang U. Dressler
16 1981 14 Copenhagen Gaberell Drachmann
17 1982 15 Athens Jacek Fisiak
18 1983 16 Poznań Klaus Heger
19 1984 17 Toledo Pavle Ivic
20 1985 18 Manchester/Salford Neville E. Collinge
21 1986 19 Ohrid Thomas Gamkrelidze
22 1987 20 Berlin Paul Valentin
23 1988 21 Freiburg Mario Alinei
24 1989 22 Varna Helena Kurzová
25 1990 23 Bern Herbert Pilch
26 1991 24 Kiel Werner Winter
27 1992 25 Galway Peter Trudgill
28 1993 26 Krakow František Daneš
29 1994 27 Florence Paolo Ramat
30 1995 28 Leiden Ferenc Kiefer
31 1996 29 Klagenfurt Jan Svartvik
32 1997 30 Gothenburg Anna Giacalone Ramat
33 1998 31 St. Andrews Matti Rissanen
34 1999 32 Ljubljana Ranko Bugarski
35 2000 33 Poznań Pieter Seuren
36 2001 34 Leuven Anna Siewierska
37 2002 35 Potsdam Anders Ahlqvist
38 2003 36 Lyon Theo Vennemann
39 2004 37 Kristiansand Johan van der Auwera
40 2005 38 Valencia Christian Lehmann
41 2006 39 Bremen Eva Hajicová
42 2007 40 Joensuu Bernard Comrie
43 2008 41 Forli Pier Marco Bertinetto
44 2009 42 Lisbon Hubert Cuyckens
45 2010 43 Vilnius Ruth Wodak
46 2011 44 Logroño Olga Fischer
47 2012 45 Stockholm Ian Roberts
48 2013 46 Split Katarzyna Dziubalska-Kolaczyk
49 2014 47 Poznań Marianne Mithun
50 2015 48 Leiden Martin Haspelmath
51 2016 49 Napoli Martin Hilpert
52 2017 50 Zürich Nikolaus Ritt
53 2018 51 Tallinn Mira Ariel
54 2019 52 Leipzig Teresa Fanego