In September 1983 a new «Center for the Study of Language and Information» started at Stanford University. This has become an established institution in the field of linguistics. It originated from a proposal presented to a Californian foundation by several scientists interested in computational linguistics. This book first describes how the writing group came into being, and then how the members of this group worked out in common a proposal which was successful. Their different institutional and disciplinary backgrounds forced them to negotiate. These interactions - with their dynamics - are the main topic of this study which is based on analyses of many preparatory texts and electronic mail exchanges, as well as on extensive interviews with almost all of the participants.