The roots of applied linguistics in North America
This article traces the origins of applied linguistics within North America. The primary sources of information were responses from a survey of leading applied linguists conducted in 1999 and a review of records from professional associations, chiefly those associated with the Linguistic Society of America, back to its foundation in 1924. Evidence is reported of the recognition of applied linguistics even with that designation as early as 1925. Extensive work is cited of an applied nature for three decades after that, much of it not carrying any such label. Likewise, language related activity conducted by many known more as specialists in other fields is reported from throughout the nineteenth century. A chronological record of North American applied linguistics is proposed showing four phases. The first predates the foundation of the Linguistic Society of America (prior to 1924). The second, labeled the post LSA period, covers the years from 1925 through 1959. The third, the early applied era, extends from 1960 to 1990 and the fourth, the independent status period extends from 1990 to the present. Summary comments portray the character of applied linguistics in North America in relation to similar activities in other geographical areas.
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