The period since LACUS was founded in 1974 has witnessed the births of many organizations and journals devoted to diverse specialties relating to language. It has been a time of increasing specialization. Against this background, LACUS remains an organization devoted to any and all facets of the study of language, marked by its generality and interdisciplinary interests rather than by any specialization. In keeping with this absence of narrow focus, LACUS welcomes ideas that are outside the mainstream of linguistics, including ideas that are given scant attention in establishment circles and ideas that may be unpopular.
Aside from these features of generality and tolerance, LACUS differs from other language-related organizations in giving preference to evidence and concern for reality over speculation and fads. Indications of this emphasis are seen in recent conference themes, "Evidence in Linguistics" (2001), "Linguistics and the Real World" (2002), "Language, Thought, and Reality" (2003). Also, some members of LACUS are pursuing an interest in developing approaches to the study of language that are compatible with the physical and biological sciences. Accordingly, LACUS welcomes offerings in "Hard Science Linguistics" and in Neurocognitive Linguistcs.
LACUS holds an annual conference around the end of July or beginning of August of each year, and publishes a selection of the papers presented, with revisions based on questions raised at the conference and on recommendations of anonymous reviewers.