Introduction > History of the CIL 


The International Congress of Linguists (CIL) has been organized by the Linguistic Society of the hosting country under the auspices of the Comité International Permanent des Linguistes (CIPL). The CIPL was founded in 1928 during the first International Congress of Linguists, which took place in The Hague (The Netherlands). The Congress constituted an important landmark in the study of linguistics since it was the first time that linguistics presented itself as an autonomous science to the world. The committee of the CIPL included such leading linguists as Charles Bally, Franz Boas, Otto Jespersen, Daniel Jones, Antoine Meillet.

Subsequent congresses were held in Geneva, Rome, Copenhagen, and after the war, among other places, in Cambridge (Mass.), Tokyo and Quebec reflecting the idea that the sites of the congresses should be various continents of the world. The linguistic congresses have thus gradually developed into truly international gatherings and had constituted the only major event in linguistics until the drastic expansion of the field in the seventies of the last century. The topics discussed at the congresses, too, reflected the rapid growth of linguistics as a science and its manifold interfaces with psychology, sociology, anthropology, computer science, philosophy and many other disciplines. At the same time more and more international linguistic conferences have been organized in the various subfields of linguistics.

IIn Asia the 13th Congress was held in Tokyo, Japan in 1982. After twenty-six years the second occasion of the CIL in Asia (the CIL18) is scheduled to be held in Seoul, in July, 2008, with the theme ˇ°Unity and Diversity of Languages.ˇ±