Compiled from the pages of the Linguistic Society of America
As a point of reference, consider some comparisons
to a neighboring community, the Association for
Computational Linguistics, which intersects with linguistics
but is primarily situated in engineering, at least traditionally
known for its diversity problems. See the list of ACL fellows
lifetime achievement award recipients, and the list of
invited speakers at some
ACL-affiliated conferences (until 2017). I have not been
able to find a centralized place for the more recent conferences
as I do not regularly attend them but I was a plenary speaker at
the 2018 NAACL conference.
The ancient/historical data is not particularly informative for obvious reasons: the demographics of linguistics have changed a lot especially recently hence the data is primarily from the past 20 years or so (when I became a linguist). How many Asians are current or recent members of the LSA? The link to LSA annual reports that should contain such information is broken. A rough count can be obtained from the LSA member directory of those who chose to disclose their ethnicity. A search produced a total of 90 pages of names, with 16 pages of Asian or Asian Americans. The number of names per page is not always the same but it is reasonable to conclude that approximately 18% of the LSA members are Asian or Asian Americans. Impressionistically, the percentage among young members of the community is higher.