The purpose of the Association for Linguistic Typology (ALT), founded in March 1994 and currently claiming more than 600 members, is to advance the scientific study of typology, that is, of cross-linguistic diversity and the patterns underlying it. To that end ALT seeks
- to further mutual awareness, dialogue, and co-operation within the international community of typologists;
- to give typology a higher profile within as well as outside linguistics, and in particular to act as an interest group of typologists in relation to the world of science and science funding.
ALT’s principal public activities are
- the organization of annual or biennial meetings and occasional regional workshops;
- the publication of a journal;
- the regular awarding of a prize for outstanding typological research of prizes for outstanding typological studies and reference grammars.
As an association of linguists whose special professional expertise lies in linguistic diversity, ALT will share in the responsibility for a task of paramount cultural importance — the documentation and maintenance of this diversity that is in danger of being dramatically reduced in the near future.
At ALT’s meetings priority is given to the unhurried presentation and discussion of typological research. Under the auspices of ALT, Mouton de Gruyter publishes a journal catering for the special needs of the typological community. The journal appears in three issues per year.