Eldatediasson, Stig. 2010. “The Nordic Association of Linguists: The preparatory phase and the first thirty years (1977–2006).” In: Hans Götzsche (ed.), Memory, mind and language, 4–54. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
The Nordic Association of Linguists (NAL) is the linguistics society of the five Nordic countries Denmark (with the Faeroes and Greenland), Finland (with Åland), Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. Founded in Austin, Texas in 1976, NAL went into operation in January 1977. It is a major organizational platform for Nordic linguists and language scholars as well as linguists outside the Nordic countries working on the languages of this particular geographical region. Two series of international conferences are organized under its auspices, the International Conference of Nordic and General Linguistics (ICNGL) and the Scandinavian Conference of Linguistics (SCL). Although oriented towards modern linguistics, the former conference series has traditionally tended to place a greater emphasis on the historical and descriptive study of the Scandinavian (i.e., North-Germanic) languages, whereas the latter one has been more concerned with general linguistic and theoretical issues and a wider range of languages. Beside an impressive string of conference proceedings, the major scholarly outlet of the Association is the Nordic Journal of Linguistics (NJL), since the beginning of 2003 brought out by the Cambridge University Press. The journal is open to contributions from all branches of linguistics, but gives priority to articles of a general theoretical and methodological nature and studies of the languages of the Nordic region. For a number of years (1977-2004), the Association also issued a news bulletin, the Nordic Linguistic Bulletin (NLB), until the spread of electronic communication made this form of news dissemination largely superfluous. This article traces the major issues and the main stages in the evolvement of the Association: the first tentative airings of the idea in the early 1970s, the preparatory work in the years 1972-1976, the launching of the Association in 1977, and its subsequent development through 2006. Appendices provide supplementary details, a bibliographical listing of conference proceedings and thematic journal issues as well as internet links.