The Open Letter: Responses and recommendations


  • Itamar Kastner University of Edinburgh
  • Hadas Kotek
  • Anonymous Anonymous
  • Rikker Dockum
  • Michael Dow
  • Maria Esipova
  • Caitlin M. Green
  • Elise Stickles
  • Todd Snider



discipline of linguistics, linguistics in the media, power structures, pragmatics


Since its publication in July 2020, the Open Letter to the LSA regarding Steven Pinker has evoked many passionate reactions. The letter argued that Pinker’s public statements are inconsistent with the LSA’s anti-racist values, asking to revoke Pinker’s status as LSA Fellow and to remove him from the LSA’s list of Media Experts. Signed by 600+ linguists, the letter has generated vigorous debate within and outside linguistics. This talk pushes the discussion forward by analyzing the responses to the letter using the tools of our profession – pragmatics and discourse analysis – and further suggesting an approach for examining the power of all individuals in the field.




How to Cite

Kastner, Itamar, Hadas Kotek, Anonymous Anonymous, Rikker Dockum, Michael Dow, Maria Esipova, Caitlin M. Green, Elise Stickles, and Todd Snider. 2022. “The Open Letter: Responses and Recommendations”. Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America 7 (1): 5257.