The following text was submitted to the General Membership for vote by mail ballot in July 2001. It was approved by 99 % of the members voting and has been in force in all its details since 1 January 2002.
Article I. Name and legal status
1. This Association shall be known as the International Pragmatics Association (abbreviated IPrA).
2. The Association shall be registered as a Non-Profit Organization in the country that hosts its Secretariat (as defined in V.3). Liability rests with the Non-Profit Organization, whose legal membership shall coincide with the Executive Committee (as defined in V.5). Financial reports will be deposited annually and presented on the occasion of the General Assembly.
Article II. Object
IPrA shall be devoted to:
1. providing an international and interdisciplinary forum for the continuous discussion, comparison and evaluation of fundamental research carried out in the general domain of pragmatics, i.e. by those dealing with aspects of language use or the functionality of language in a variety of fields and disciplines (including, but not limited to, linguistics, text linguistics, historical linguistics, discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, conversation analysis, linguistic anthropology, psycholinguistics, developmental psycholinguistics, cognitive linguistics, neurolinguistics, artificial intelligence, semiotics, the philosophy of language, communication theory, rhetoric, stylistics, as well as any language-oriented traditions as in sociology, social psychology, cognitive science, cultural studies);
2. stimulating various fields of practical intervention (such as intercultural and international communication, language teaching, language policy, the role of language in public institutions, the treatment of patients with language disorders, the development of computer communication systems);
3. disseminating knowledge about pragmatic aspects of language, not only among pragmaticians of various 'denominations' and students of language in general, but in principle among everyone who, personally or professionally, could benefit from more insight into problems of language use.
Article III. Activities
1. organize regular meetings, in particular the International Pragmatics Conferences;
2. prepare a variety of publications (including Pragmatics: Quarterly Publication of the International Pragmatics Association and occasional conference proceedings) aimed at the rapid distribution of up-to-date academic work and the dissemination of information needed by or useful to members and interested non-members alike;
3. maintain an IPrA Research Center (documenting the state of the art, e.g. with its Handbook of Pragmatics and its Bibliography of Pragmatics projects, and stimulating new developments).
Article IV. Membership
1. There shall primarily be individual members. No membership rights or duties are attached to subscriptions to Pragmatics taken by libraries or institutions. Collective memberships may be accepted from groups of scholars in poor countries if this facilitates their access to IPrA services, publications, and activities.
2. Any person may become a member by payment of dues, and membership can only be refused on clearly justified grounds with the unanimous agreement of the members of the Executive Committee.
3. On or before 1 February of each year, each member shall pay an annual fee as dues, in an amount fixed by the Executive Committee.
4. Membership years are calendar years. Membership applications count for the year in which the application is made.
Article V. Officers, committees, and responsibilities
1. The Officers shall be a President, a Treasurer, a Secretary General, an Executive Secretary, Editors, Executive Committee members, and Consultation Board members.
2. The IPrA President advises on all important decisions taken at the level of the Secretariat, Executive Committee and Consultation Board, and presides over meetings of the Executive Committee, Consultation Board and General Assembly whenever possible.
3. The IPrA Secretariat (appointed by the Consultation Board for renewable six-year periods coinciding with the term of office of Board members and President) minimally consists of a Secretary General and an Executive Secretary. The Secretary General is responsible for the overall management of the Association, the practical preparation and distribution of IPrA publications, the administration of International Pragmatics Conferences, and the functioning of an IPrA Research Center (carrying out projects under IPrA auspices but without IPrA finances).
4. The Editors are responsible for the content of the quarterly publication Pragmatics.
5. The Executive Committee consists of maximum 9 members: the President, the Treasurer, the Secretary General, the Executive Secretary, 1 member chosen by the Editors from their own ranks, and 4 members chosen by the Consultation Board from their own ranks. It coincides with the registered legal membership of IPrA as a Non-Profit Organization (see I.2). It is responsible for all practical decisions related to the operation of the Association, including the setting of membership dues, operational changes in the Secretariat if required, the appointment of Editors, and the approval of contracts made with conference venues. It consults with the Consultation Board on all matters that go beyond practical decision-making.
6. The number of Consultation Board members is between 30 and 40, including a maximum of 10 ex officio members and maximum 30 members elected directly by the General Membership. The Consultation Board is in charge of matters related to general policies, including the appointment of the Secretariat, the preparation of amendments to the Constitution, the choice of conference sites and the composition of Conference Committees. The Consultation Board appoints the Treasurer from its ow ranks and for six-year periods coinciding with the term of office of Board members and President. It elects a maximum of 4 additional members for the Executive Committee, and makes nominations for the election of the IPrA President from its own ranks. Its members act as an advisory board for Pragmatics and other IPrA publications and projects. It may install ad hoc committees for specific tasks whenever the need arises.
7. The Conference Committee of each individual International Pragmatics Conference, composed by the Consultation Board in collaboration with the Local Site Committee, shall be responsible for the selection of invited speakers, the reviewing of abstracts, and the academic program in general. Formal invitations can be extended only by the Conference Committee, and all proposals for presentations and events - except for the invited ones - are reviewed anonymously by at least three Committee members.
8. The General Membership nominates candidates for and elects 30 members of the Consultation Board, elects the President, votes on all constitutional changes, and may propose topics for discussion, as well as resolutions, to be dealt with by Consultation Board and General Assembly.
Article VI. Meetings
1. The Executive Committee shall meet whenever necessary.
2. The Consultation Board shall conduct regular consultation rounds and shall be convened on the occasion of the International Pragmatics Conferences.
3. A General Assembly of IPrA members shall be convened on the occasion of the International Pragmatics Conferences.
4. Members will be duly informed about meeting times and places so that they may propose topics for discussion, as well as resolutions, to be dealt with by Consultation Board and General Assembly.
Article VII. Elections
1. Elected positions are: IPrA President (one non-renewable term), 4 members of the Executive Committee, 30 members of the Consultation Board.
2. Elections will be held every sixth year. First a new Consultation Board is formed (see 3.); then the IPrA President is elected (see 4.); finally, the new Executive Committee is composed (see 5. and 6.).
3. The election of Consultation Board members is a four-step process: (i) members of the Consultation Board are asked to confirm whether they are candidates for further active duty; (ii) from the resulting list of names, IPrA members elect a maximum of 15 board members; (iii) each IPrA member can then nominate one additional IPrA member for service on the Consultation Board - at this stage self-nominations are possible, also by members of the previous board not re-elected at stage (ii), and all nominations have to be accompanied by written supporting information to be published with the nominees' names; (iv) from the list of nominees, IPrA members elect a maximum of 15 new board members.
4. For the election of a new President, (i) each Consultation Board member is asked to nominate one candidate from their own ranks; (ii) the General membership elects the new President from the list of nominees who have received three or more nominations.
5. For the composition of the Executive Committee, (i) all Consultation Board members are asked whether they are candidates for service on the committee; (ii) Consultation Board members elect the new committee members from the resulting list of candidates.
Article VIII. Amendments
Amendments to this constitution shall be submitted to the Consultation Board, which shall either decide unanimously or put the decision up for vote among the General Membership, in which case an amendment must have the approval of two-thirds of the members voting.