Nominations

For more information about an individual award, click on one of the links below.  Preliminary nominations for LSA Awards and Honors are invited throughout the year up until the deadline specified below. Preliminary nominations received after the deadline will be deferred for review until the next nomination cycle.  Exceptions are the Best Paper in Language Award (all articles published in Language are automatically eligible), the Excellence in Community Linguistics Award (which has its own procedure), the Leonard Bloomfield Book Award (which has its own deadline and committee), the Linguistics Journalism Award (which has its own deadline and review committee), and the Student Abstract Award (all Annual Meeting abstracts authored solely by students are automatically eligible). 

Awards Nominations are submitted in two mandatory phases:  1) a preliminary nomination, consisting of the nominee’s name, CV and/or website URL, and the award for which the nomination is being submitted; and 2) a final nomination.  The purpose of a preliminary nomination is to alert the Awards Committee of your intent, and to offer early assistance in helping you prepare a successful nomination. Following receipt of a preliminary nomination, you will be contacted directly with additional details about the kinds of assistance available.  Preliminary nominations must be submitted no later than August 1 to allow sufficient time for assistance to be offered in preparing a final nomination. 

Click on one of the links below for descriptions of the individual awards, and to submit a nomination, and note that, with few exceptions, nominees must be current members of the LSA.  The Awards Committee will assist all nominators, if desired, in preparing a final nomination (see individual awards for requirements), which will be due by September 1, and will offer assistance in identifying potential co-nominators (although this is not a requirement).  In some cases, sample letters of successful prior nominations are available upon request from the LSA staff. Nominations of women and underrepresented ethnic minorities are particularly encouraged.

Once a final nomination has been submitted, it will be retained and reconsidered for a period of five years (three years in the case of the Excellence in Community Lingusitics Award).  In the in the case of the Early Career Award, the nomination will not be carried over beyond the the ten-year post-Ph.D. time limit.  Nominators will be given the opportunity to update their nomination materials annually. 

Note: Nominations for sitting members of the LSA Executive Committee (EC) will not be considered.  If a member of the Executive Committee was unsuccessfully nominated for an award prior to beginning their service, their nomination will not be considered while they are serving on the EC. 

All awards, with the exception of the Student Abstract awards, are subject to approval by the LSA Executive Committee.

[Pictured above right: Shelly (Rochelle) Lieber, Ingo Plag & Laurie Bauer, The Oxford Reference Guide to English Morphology, which received the Leonard Bloomfield Book Award in 2015. Photo Credit: Katharine Kimball]

Best Paper in Language Award
C.L. Baker Award
Early Career Award
Excellence in Community Linguistics Award 
Kenneth L. Hale Award
Leonard Bloomfield Book Award
Linguistics Journalism Award
Linguistic Service Award
Linguistics, Language, and the Public Award
Mentoring Award
Student Abstract Award
Victoria A. Fromkin Lifetime Service Award


Best Paper in Language Award

This award, made for the first time in 2012, is given for the best paper published in the journal in any given year. All papers published in a given year are eligible for review and then ranked by the Awards Committee. Associate Editors of Language are invited to recommend specific articles in their areas of expertise for priority review by the Awards Committee. As per LSA policy, each paper must have at least one LSA member as an author.

Current Holder:

2019 Benjamin Bruening

"The lexicalist hypothesis: Both wrong and superfluous" (Language 94.1)

In his article, "The Lexicalist Hypothesis", Bruening takes a strong evaluative position on a fundamental issue regarding the structure of grammar. Bruening argues that the Lexicalist Hypothesis is wrong "because (i) there are numerous instances where phrasal syntax feeds word formation; (ii) there are cases where phrasal syntax can access subword parts; and (iii) claims that word formation and phrasal syntax obey different principles are not correct." He advances new evidence that there are other, independent explanations for phenomena that the Lexicalist approach is claimed to account for. The committee found the paper unusually well argued and clearly presented.

Previous Holders:

For a list of previous holders of the Best Paper in Language Award, click here.


C.L. Baker Award

This award, to be given for the first time in 2020, is intended to honor the legacy of the late C. L. Baker (1939-1997) and is funded by a generous gift from his family.  The winner receives a $500 honorarium and will be recognized at the Awards Ceremony at the LSA Annual Meeting. 


C.L. (Lee) Baker with wife Mary
(photo credit: Brian Price)

Frequency:  Annually, as nominations warrant.

Next Nomination Deadline: A preliminary nomination consisting of the nominee's name, CV and/or website URL, must be submitted here no later than August 1, 2019.  A final nomination, consisting of a nomination form, an updated curriculum vitae for the nominee, and a brief citation that can be read at the presentation of the award, must be submitted at the same link by September 1, 2019.  In the typical case, nominations will be submitted by a colleague or group of colleagues of the nominee, but self-nominations are not excluded.

Eligibility: The C.L. Baker Award recognizes excellence in research in the area of syntactic theory on the part of a scholar who is at the mid-point of a distinguished career.  The typical nominee will be at least 3 years beyond tenure and will  be on the brink of being promoted to the next major rank past the tenure point -- full Professor at many universities, perhaps different in the case of institutions which use the title Professor at the point of tenure.  Scholars very recently promoted to that rank are not excluded.  The typical nominee will thus be 10-20 years beyond the dissertation. Nominees should be members of the LSA at the time the prize is awarded.

The prize is intended to recognize a distinguished and still unfolding research record in syntax, one which meets the following criteria:

  •  it has had significant impact,
  •  it is forward-looking and innovative,
  •  it is empirically careful, and
  •  it engages the larger intellectual context for research on human language and goes beyond the merely technical in its analyses and proposals.

     


Early Career Award

Instituted in 2010, this award recognizes scholars early in their career who have made outstanding contributions to the field of linguistics. The award provides travel reimbursement (up to $500) and complimentary registration for the next Annual Meeting. Nominators must be current LSA members.

Frequency: Annually, as nominations warrant.

Next Nomination Deadline: A preliminary nomination consisting of the nominee's name, CV and/or website URL, must be submitted here no later than August 1, 2019.  A final nomination, consisting a nomination form, an updated curriculum vitae for the nominee, and a brief citation that can be read at the presentation of the award, must be submitted at the same link by September 1, 2019.

Eligibility: Any LSA member who received the Ph.D. degree no more than ten years before being nominated.  (When the Early Career Award was instituted, the time limit was seven years.  It was raised to ten years in 2015, to take effect with the 2016 award.)

The letter of nomination should include the following, as appropriate:

  • evidence of satisfying eligibility criteria
  • discussion of scholarly products and evaluation of their importance/significance. Mention breadth of (sub)field(s) that are impacted and depth of impact in specific subfields
  • discussion of publication quality and rate, in comparison to other linguists at that career stage
  • evidence of original thinking: of having gone beyond dissertation work into different/cutting edge areas, and/or of having explored new approaches to old problems
  • discussion of contributions to public awareness and exposure to linguistics
  • discussion of contributions to the field (conference planning, service to local and national organizations, etc.)
  • discussion of contributions to language community or communities
  • discussion of contributions to workplace, university/departmental life, if appropriate

Current Holder:


Photo Credit: Brad Rentz

2019 Andrea Berez-Kroeker (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa)

Andrea Berez-Kroeker has established herself as one of the rising stars in the documentation of endangered languages. She has brought an unusually strong level of technological sophistication  to her work, especially in the areas of language archiving, data processing, and visualization. Only the most exceptional of early career scholars can manage to do significant documentary work and produce a sizable record of publications while spending hundreds of “hidden” hours on basic data analysis, interaction with consultants, and outreach efforts. Her trajectory since finishing her Ph.D. has been only upward, and she shows every sign of becoming not only a leader within the language documentation community, but also a scholar who will make important connections with other areas of linguistics and with speaker communities. 

Previous Holders:

For a list of previous holders of the Early Career Award, click here.
 


Excellence in Community Linguistics Award

First established in 2013, this award recognizes the outstanding contributions that members of language communities (typically outside the academic sphere of professional linguists) make for the benefit of their community’s language. The contributions made by awardees may be varied, including, among other things, documentation work with a linguist as a consultant and efforts towards language revitalization.

Frequency: Annually, as nominations warrant.

Next Nomination Deadline: A final nomination must be submitted here by September 30, 2019.

Eligibility: Please refer to the official Call for Nominations for details regarding eligibility.

Current Holders: 

2019 The Khumuno Wu'u Kotira Indigenous School Association (ASEKK)

Founded in the early 2000s, ASEKK - a school association that represents several Kotiria communities in Brazil's northwest - has shown a longstanding commitment to their language and to the community, having great impact in wide-ranging areas (schools, workshops, documentation projects, multimedia projects) and demonstrating high levels of community partnership with a sustainable future among younger generations despite remoteness and inaccessibility of the area. A most compelling example of their impact is the involvement in documentation and growing pride of community high school students.

2019 Nancy Richardson Steele, Karuk Tribe/Advocates for California Indigenous Language Survival

The quote “Nobody in the Karuk language community has played a more important role than Nancy in working to revitalize the Karuk language…and Karuk has been one of the two or three model cases of revitalization in California” (from the nomination) captures well the impact of Steele's work on her Karuk language. In addition to the impressive efforts undertaken by Steele over the last 25+ years on behalf of her language, the impact of her work goes beyond her community and this is what the committee would like to emphasize. Her help in establishing the Breath of Life and the Master-Apprentice programs, initially in California and then later adopted in many other parts of the world (in part thanks to her own efforts as a Master-Apprentice trainer), means that her impact has reached many communities beside her own and that it will continue to do so well into the future.

Previous Holders:

For a list of previous holders of the Excellence in Community Linguistics Award, click here.


Kenneth L. Hale Award

First presented in 2002, this award recognizes scholars who have done outstanding work on the documentation of a particular language or family of languages that is endangered or no longer spoken. Nominations must be accompanied by relevant supporting materials, such as copies of representative work. Nominators must be current LSA members.

Frequency: As nominations warrant

Next Nomination Deadline: A preliminary nomination consisting of the nominee's name, CV and/or website URL must be submitted here no later than August 1, 2019.  A final nomination, consisting of a copy of relevant work product (books, articles, scholarly materials, recordings, etc.) and any other supporting material, and a brief citation that can be read at the presentation of the award, must be submitted here by September 1, 2019.

Eligibility: All authors must be current members of the LSA and relevant works should normally be no more than 15-20 years old.

The letter of nomination should include detailed description of the nominee’s contributions, as appropriate:

  • description of documentation products (books, dictionaries, grammars, articles, etc.)
  • evaluation of quality of the scholar's work
  • discussion of status of language being documented, evidence of endangerment/extinction; evaluation of relative need for documentation
  • discussion of commitment to the language and its speakers
  • importance of work to public, the language community, and scholars

Current Holder:

2019 Judith Aissen (University of California, Santa Cruz)

In her work on Mayan languages, which spans more than forty years, Judith Aissen has made outstanding contributions in language documentation, linguistic theory, and the mentoring of Indigenous linguists.  Aissen’s published works are models of theoretically informed linguistic description; viewed another way, they are models of empirically-based theoretical work. Aissen has been a stalwart, dedicated mentor of Indigenous linguists in Mexico and Guatemala, teaching seminars and workshops. In short, Aissen has earned this award for her energetic documentation of Tzotzil and other Mayan languages, her success at bringing these languages to bear on linguistic theory, and her commitment to the nurturing of Indigenous linguists.

Previous Holders:

For a list of previous holders of the Kenneth Hale award, click here.


Leonard Bloomfield Book Award

First presented in 1992, this award recognizes a volume that makes an outstanding contribution of enduring value to our understanding of language and linguistics. Nominations must address the volume's exemplary scholarship, enduring value, novelty, empirical import, conceptual significance, and clarity, and include a brief citation that can be read at the presentation of the award.

This award is chosen by the LSA's Bloomfield Book Award Committee, which evaluates all books submitted and recommends one title to the Executive Committee, which must formally approve the recommendation.

Frequency: Annually

Next Nomination Deadline: 1 May 2020
Nominations must be accompanied by five copies of the book prior to the deadline. Publishers as well as LSA members may nominate a book for the Bloomfield Award. Nominations may be submitted here.

Eligibility: All authors of nominated books should be current members of the LSA. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the selection committee for books whose authors are not all LSA members, such as books with co-authors who are native speaker language consultants who collaborated in the preparation of the book, but who are not otherwise part of the Linguistics community. In all cases, at least one author must be a member of the LSA. Book must be published after 28 February 2019 and before 31 May 2020.

Criteria: 

  • Novelty (says something that is not part of the published literature)
  • Empirical Import (claims made are empirically falsifiable)
  • Conceptual Significance (enriches overall understanding of the nature of human language)
  • Clarity (points are clearly formulated; text is reader-friendly)

Current Holder:

2019 Bridget Drinka and Cambridge University Press for The Periphrastic Perfect through History

Bridget Drinka's The Periphrastic Perfect Through History is a masterpiece of linguistic scholarship. Its extraordinary breadth of coverage and detailed analyses make original contributions of several kinds to a number of areas: language contact generally, areal linguistics, the “Charlemagne Sprachbund,” typology, TAM categories cross-linguistically, “perfect,” and the historical sociolinguistics of European languages. The book weaves all of these threads together deftly and cohesively. It tracks the history of the periphrastic perfect construction comprehensively and in meticulous detail through time and across Europe, from Finnish to Bulgarian, thus focusing not just on Indo-European languages. The close examination of the interaction of the sociohistorical and linguistic factors in the development of the periphrastic perfect compellingly demonstrates Drinka’s conclusion that language contact is a more crucial factor in linguistic change than has generally been recognized; it shows how language contact can motivate and instigate change in general.

Previous Holders:

For a list of previous holders of the Leonard Bloomfield Book Award, click here.


Linguistic Service Award

First presented in 2007, this award honors members of the LSA who have performed distinguished service to the Society. This service might take various forms, for example: Extended time devoted to tasks in the service of the Society; extraordinary uncompensated service to the Society; or brief service resulting in substantial cost savings for the Society. Development of materials for publicizing the field or the activities of the Society. Nominees and nominators must be current LSA members.

Frequency: As nominations warrant

Next Nomination Deadline: A preliminary nomination consisting of the nominee's name, CV and/or website URL must be submitted here no later than August 1, 2019.  A final nomination, consisting of a nomination form outlining why the individual should be recognized, and a brief citation that can be read at the presentation of the award, must be submitted here by September 1, 2019.

Eligibility: All nominees must be current LSA members.

The letter of nomination should include the following, as appropriate:

  • discussion of career history, particularly as relevant to linguistic service
  • discussion of service to the LSA: (e.g. committee participation, promotion efforts, office service). Specific details of contributions and time commitments are helpful.
  • discussion of contributions to language and linguistics beyond the LSA

Current Holder:

2016 D. Terence Langendoen  

For his creative work in drawing good research in computational linguistics to the attention of National Science Foundation programs with little history of funding research on language, significantly expanding the funding base for work in linguistics. 

Previous Holders:

For a list of previous holders of the Linguistic Service Award, click here.


Linguistics Journalism Award

Established by the LSA in 2014, this award honors the journalist whose work best represents linguistics during the 12-month consideration period indicated in the call for nominations.

The award is based on a single news story or body of work that reflects accuracy and timeliness as regards the material but is also appealing to nonspecialist audiences.  The current call for nominations will be for the period covering June 1, 2018 through May 31, 2019. 

Selection of the award recipient will be made by a committee consisting of 2-3 members of the LSA Public Relations Committee (PRC), the Director of Communications, and the Executive Committee liaison to the PRC. 

Frequency: As nominations warrant

Next Nomination Deadline: There is no preliminary nomination deadline for this award.  A final nomination, consisting of a letter of support of a letter of no more than three pages, copies of the work or links to the work for which the person is being nominated, a brief citation that can be read at the presentation of the award, and any other supporting material, must be submitted here by July 1, 2019. 

Eligibility: Nominations may be submitted by any individual or entity that wishes to do so, including members of the award selection committee. The news story must have been presented/published during the time period specified in the call for nominations. Nominations are particularly encouraged from LSA members, news organizations, journalists, and public relations professionals.

The letter of nomination should include the following, as appropriate:

  • Significance of the story or body of work which is the basis of the nomination
  • Accessibility of the work to non-specialist audiences

Current Holder:

2019 Patrick Cox (The World in Words Podcast - Public Radio International)

Patrick Cox understands the significance of words in an era where we all need to learn again how to speak to each other. His outstanding work in The World in Words has allowed citizens of the world to be acknowledged and educated on all matters relevant to language. Cox´s NPR documentaries offer clear, in-depth, and thought-provoking perspectives on linguistic diversity, historical linguistics, anthropological linguistics, and language as an art. Members of the Linguistic Society of America are thankful to Patrick Cox for his life´s work dedicated to enhancing the fabric of life by reminding us to listen to each other´s words.

Previous Holder:

For a list of previous holders of the Linguistics Journalism Award, click here.


Linguistics, Language, and the Public Award

First presented in 1997, this award honors an individual or group for work that effectively increases public awareness and understanding of linguistics and language. Works in any medium are eligible, including books, documentary films, software, and lectures. For works of journalism, particularly news stories, blog posts, and magazine articles, a nomination for the LSA Linguistics Journalism Award may be more appropriate. Nominees need not be LSA members. Nominators must be current LSA members. In order to be considered, individuals must have published, presented, or aired some representative work during the four years immediately preceding the deadline for the receipt of entries. Note that, because an individual's representative work is eligible for four years, work could be considered in more than one award cycle. Nominations must present evidence of the work's impact (e.g. letters of commendation, news coverage, public notices). The awardee is invited to attend and, if appropriate, to present the work at the Annual Meeting.

Frequency: As nominations warrant

Next Nomination Deadline: A preliminary nomination, consisting of the nominee's name, CV and/or website URL, must be submitted here by August 1, 2019.  Final nominations, consisting of a nomination form and a brief citation that can be read at the presentation of the award, must be submitted here by September 1, 2019. Any hard copies of supporting materials (unavailable in electronic format) should be sent to the LSA via postal mail; please provide four copies of supporting materials where applicable. 

Eligibility: works in any medium are eligible, e.g. books, documentary films, articles in popular magazines, software, or lecture series but must have been published, presented, or aired during the four years immediately prior to the nomination.

The letter of nomination should include the following, as appropriate:

  • describe the work that increases public awareness of language and linguistics;
  • evidence that the work has had a demonstrable impact on public awareness of language and/or linguistics.

Current Holder:

2019 Anne Charity Hudley (University of California, Santa Barbara) 

Anne Charity Hudley has devoted her career to three goals – providing support and guidance for minority undergraduates, leading the way in effective teaching of linguistics, and teaching K-12 teachers how to provide guidance to minority students while giving them the language skills they need. The first two of these are laudable goals, perhaps worthy of an award from the LSA; but it is the third that is the basis of this nomination and is represented by her publications, including Understanding English Language Variation in U.S. Schools, We Do Language: English Language Variation in the Secondary English Classroom, as well as articles written for a wider audience. Through these publications, Charity Hudley has positively influenced the classroom experience of users of nonstandard varieties of English. Through her dedication to the recruitment, guidance, and mentoring of minority students, she has made a lasting difference not only in these scholars’ careers but to the field as a whole.

Previous Holders:

For a list of previous holders of the Linguistics, Language, and Public Award, click here.


 

Mentoring Award

Instituted in 2019, this award recognizes the work of individuals who, or organizations that, have exhibited a sustained commitment to mentoring linguists.  Specific types of mentoring to be considered include assisting mentees to present and publish their work, and to find financial aid;  providing career guidance;  providing support, encouragement, and essential strategies for life in the linguistics community; and demonstrating continued interest in the mentee’s professional advancement.  Particular emphasis will be placed, when considering nominations, on mentoring a diverse pool of mentees; sustained mentoring efforts over many years; and mentoring of early career linguists.

Frequency: Annually, as nominations warrant.

Next Nomination Deadline: A preliminary nomination consisting of the nominee's name, CV (for individuals), and/or website URL, must be submitted here  no later than August 1, 2019.  A final nomination, consisting of a nomination form and and a brief citation that can be read at the presentation of the award, must be submitted at the same link by September 1, 2019.

Eligibility: Any individual or organization meeting the nomination criteria.  Nominators must be LSA members. 

The final nomination should include the following, as appropriate:

  • description of mentorship activities and research; mentor programs and activities; target audiences; and outcomes where appropriate
  • where appropriate, indication of how the nominee’s work resulted in departmental and/or institutional change in terms of the granting of degrees to underrepresented students
  • list of individuals mentored
  • letter(s) of support from colleagues (for individuals) or stakeholders (or organizations)

 

Student Abstract Award

Instituted in 2010, this award provides $500 for the best abstract submitted by a student for a paper or poster presentation at the next Annual Meeting, and $300 for the submitters of the abstracts rated second and third. Every student who submits an abstract for the Annual Meeting is automatically considered for this award; no nominations are required. All abstracts submitted for the annual meeting are rated, blindly, by external reviewers and the LSA Program Committee. Once abstracts have been accepted, the LSA Staff (who have access to information about abstract submitters) will determine which student abstracts were most highly rated. In case of a tie, the Awards Committee members will read the abstracts and select the winner and the two runners-up. The awardees will be publicly announced as soon as they have been selected, and will be recognized in the Handbook for the Annual Meeting.

Frequency: Annually

Eligibility: every student who submits an abstract for the Annual Meeting is automatically considered for this award; no nominations are required.

Current Holders:

  • First Place: Robert Xu (Stanford University): Placing Social Types Through Prosodic Variation: An Investigation of Spatial Meanings in Mainland China
  • Second Place: Colin P. Davis (MIT): English Possessor Extraction
  • Third Place: Emily Clem (UC Berkeley): The cyclic nature of Agree: Maximal projections as probes

Previous Holders:

For a list of previous holders of the Student Abstract Award, click here.


Victoria A. Fromkin Lifetime Service Award

First presented in 2001 as the "Victoria A. Fromkin Prize for Distinguished Service", this award recognizes individuals who have performed extraordinary service to the discipline and to the Society throughout their career. Nominees and nominators must be current LSA members.

Frequency: As nominations warrant

Next Nomination Deadline: A preliminary nomination, consisting of the nominee's name, CV and/or website URL, must be submitted here no later than August 1, 2019.  A final nomination, consisting of a nominatino form outlining why the individual should be recognized, and a brief citation that can be read at the presentation of the award, must be suibmitted here by September 1, 2019.

Eligibility: all nominees must be current members of the LSA.

The letter of nomination should include the following, as appropriate:

  • discussion of service to the LSA
  • discussion of unusual contributions to LSA’s success
  • evidence of extraordinary commitment to LSA, its staff, and its members
  • evidence of sustained contributions

Current Holder:

2018 Sarah Thomason (University of Michigan)

Over her career Sally Thomason has contributed more to the field of linguistics in both research and service than what most scholars will achieve in a lifetime in only one of these areas. Her research has propelled the field forward; her mentoring activities have placed many junior scholars on trajectories toward success; and her service to the Society has benefited all linguists in significant ways. Sally’s contributions to the field of linguistics and the LSA in particular is richly deserving of recognition through the  Victoria A. Fromkin Lifetime Service Award.

Previous Holders:

For a list of previous holders of the Victoria A. Fromkin Lifetime Service Award, click here.

External Honors and Awards:

For information about external honors and awards for linguists, such as NASEM, please visit this page.