We will be electing the first CLANA Executive Committee and approving the Bylaws at the Business Meeting during our Inaugural Conference.

Interim Executive Committee


Ricardo Maldonado, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México


Chongwon Park, University of Minnesota Duluth

Membership Officer and Treasurer: 

Elise Stickles, University of British Columbia Vancouver

Student Representative: 

Laurence Gagnon, Université du Québec à Montréal


A working group of cognitive linguists from Canada, Mexico, and the United States had been meeting periodically during 2023 with the goal of establishing a professional organization and biennial conference for cognitive linguistics in North America. Conference organizers, Terry Janzen (University of Manitoba) & Daz Saunders (University of Manitoba and formerly, Université du Québec à Montréal) were able to secure space to host the inaugural conference at the Université du Québec à Montréal in June 2024. At this point, the working group collectively decided that a formal organization needed to be formed prior to the conference to assist with conference planning. The Cognitive Linguistics Association of North America (CLANA) was officially established on January 11, 2024.

While CLANA1 in Montreal will be the first cognitive linguistics conference in North America that is tied to an official organization, the path to CLANA's inception has been paved by decades of work by cognitive linguists in North America. We wish to give special recognition to those who were involved in organizing the Conceptual Structure, Discourse, and Language (CSDL) conferences across a span of 20 years.

The history of the CSDL conferences began in the early 1990's. A yearly series of informal cognitive linguistic workshops were hosted, alternating between the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). These workshops brought together two sets of faculty (including, Chuck Fillmore, George Lakoff, Paul Kay, and Eve Sweetser from Berkeley, and Ron Langacker and Gilles Fauconnier from UCSD) and graduate students at UCB and UCSD (such as, Michel Achard, Michele Emanatian, Adele Goldberg, Jean-Pierre Koenig, Laura Michaelis, and Mary Ellen Ryder).

By 1994, interest in the workshops had grown to the point where it became obvious that they needed to be expanded into a conference format. Adele Goldberg organized the first CSDL conference in 1994 at UCSD (with support from Ron Langacker and Gilles Fauconnier) and later edited the first proceedings, which came out in 1996. Jean-Pierre Koenig hosted the second conference at the University of Buffalo in 1996. The idea was to hold CSDL conferences every other year, specifically during the years when the International Cognitive Linguistics Association (ICLA) conferences would not be held. The conference name, Conceptual Structure, Discourse, and Language was chosen to promote interaction between cognitive and discourse-functional linguists. CSDL was not affiliated with a specific organization and did not require membership. The conference informally rotated locations based on who was available to organize and host it. A full list of CSDL conference locations and the names of the primary conference organizers are provided below.

A number of linguists who were involved with CSDL have been a part of the working group to form CLANA. The founding members of CLANA wish to pay homage to the CSDL community and show recognition of the impact CSDL had on the cognitive linguistics community (and beyond) in North America. The CSDL conferences connected linguists working within cognitive-functional, discourse-functional, and usage-based approaches, creating a home for the exchange of new ideas and fostering the development of many important projects and collaborations.