Elizabeth Pine Dayton Award holders

Xinye Zhang


The committee recommends Xinye Zhang for the award in 2023.

Zhang’s research interests lie in bilingualism and children’s acquisition of variation. More specifically, she uses ethnographic and statistical methods to investigate the learning of interlanguage features, lexical tone, and word-initial sibilants by 3 types of speakers: young heritage speakers of Mandarin, L2 students and bilingual children. Her dissertation explores language learning by emergent bilingual children in two dual immersion preschools in California. The committee found her dual focus on linguistic detail and its broader implications to be compelling.


Peter Torres (U.C. Davis)

Peter Torres (U.C. Davis)

Peter studies the roles of various discourse features in written policies and their local enactments. His current work draws on prosodic- and corpus-based discourse analytic approaches to uncover the language policymakers use to address the opioid crisis and how physicians and patients discursively negotiate, reinterpret, and enact such policies in consultations. His research sheds light on policymakers' use of modality to reconfigure the interpretive spaces in which policy actors could act,  physicians' use of face-work to mitigate the semantic weight that comes with enacting restrictive policies, and patients' use of register shifting to express chronic pain, narrate symptoms, and request opioids.

Previous years

2021: Pocholo Umbal (University of Toronto)

2020: Valentyna Filimonova (Indiana University Bloomington)

About the Elizabeth Dayton Award

First established in 2019, the Elizabeth Dayton Award is a travel award for graduate students pursuing a specialization in sociolinguistics to attend the LSA Annual Meeting. The award will provide up to $500 to cover registration, travel, lodging, and per diem costs subject to the earnings of the initial endowment over the prior 12-month period. 


Annually, as applications warrant.


Applicants must attest that they meet all of the following criteria for the award:

  • Current LSA members
  • Graduate students 
  • Are pursuing a course of studies with a specialization in sociolinguistics

Applicants will be asked to submit a CV, a transcript, and a statement of 250 words or less detailing how winning the Dayton Award will enhance their scholarly career as evidence of a distinguished level of scholastic achievement.