From left: Brittney Johnson, Anne Charity Hudley,

Kendra Calhoun, Mary Bucholtz, Jazmine Exford

Award holders


Kendra Calhoun (University of California), Anne Charity Hudley (Stanford University), Mary Bucholtz (University of California, Santa Barbara), Jazmine Exford (University of California, Santa Barbara), and Brittney Johnson (Pepperdine University)

“Attracting Black students to linguistics through a Black-centered Introduction to Linguistics course.” Volume 97, Number 1

The above paper has launched an essential conversation about how to structure inclusiveness into our curricula. This article is especially timely as the inclusion of all kinds is a crucial issue facing linguistics now. Indeed, linguistics as a field can only benefit from the introspective consideration of instructional practices that the authors display through their innovative course design aimed at building diversity of audience and expanding the reach of linguistics instruction. The authors forefront the most in-depth actual recruitment strategies directed toward one of the least-represented groups in all of linguistics, thereby providing actionable information for the thriving of our discipline. 


Julie Anne Legate, Faruk Akkuş, Milena Šereikaitė and Donald Ringe 

“On passives of passives." Volume 96. Number 4 (December 2020)


Natasha Abner, Molly Flaherty, Katelyn Stangl, Marie Coppola, Diane Brentari, and Susan Goldin-Meadow

"The noun-verb distinction in established and emergent sign systems" (Language 95.2)


Benjamin Bruening

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


Angelica Buerkin-Pontrelli, Jennifer Culbertson, Géraldine Legendre, and Thierry Nazzi

"Competing models of liaison acquisition: Evidence from corpus and experimental data," appeared in Language Volume 93, Number 1 (March, 2017)


John R. Rickford and Sharese King

“Language and Linguistics on Trial: Hearing Rachel Jeantel (and Other Vernacular Speakers) in the Courtroom and Beyond,” appeared in Language Volume 92, Number 4 (December, 2016)


Will Chang, Chundra Cathcart, David Hall, and Andrew Garrett

"Ancestry-constrained phylogenetic analysis supports the Indo-European steppe hypothesis," appeared in Language Volume 91, No. 1 (2015).


Nikolaus P. Himmelmann

"Asymmetries in the prosodic phrasing of function words: Another look at the suffixing preference," appeared in Language Volume 90, No. 4 (2014)


Judith Tonhauser, David Beaver, Craige Roberts and Mandy Simons

“Toward a taxonomy of projective content,” appeared in Language Volume 89, No. 1 (2013)


Bruce Hayes, Colin Wilson and Anne Shisko

"Maxent Grammars for the Metrics of Shakespeare and Milton," appeared in Language Vol 88, No. 4 (2012)


Jointly, to Thomas Weskott & Gisbert Fanselow, and Jon Sprouse

"On the informativity of different measures of linguistic acceptability," by Weskott and Fanselow, and "A test of the cognitive assumptions of magnitude estimation: Commutativity does not hold for acceptability judgments," by Sprouse, appeared in Language Vol. 87, No. 2 (2011)

About the 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.