The LSA is delighted to announce the winner of the Best Paper in Language 2017 Award. The award will be given to “Competing models of liaison acquisition: Evidence from corpus and experimental data”Language Volume 93, Number 1 (March, 2017), by Angelica Buerkin-Pontrelli (University of Pennsylvania), Jennifer Culbertson (University of Edinburgh),  Geraldine Legendre (John Hopkins University), and Thierry Nazzi (Université Paris Descartes).

This paper gives a detailed account of how children acquire lexical forms in French in environments with liason. The abstract begins: "Given that nouns rarely appear in isolation in French, infants acquiring the language must often retrieve the underlying representation of vowel-initial lexical forms from liaison contexts that provide conflicting information about the initial phoneme. Given this ambiguity, how do learners represent these nouns in their lexicons, and how do these representations change as learners’ knowledge of liaison and the lexicon become more adult-like? To explore this question, we analyze the types of errors children make, in both naturalistic and elicited speech, and how these are affected by input frequency." 

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.

The 2017 Best Paper in Language award is the most recent award announced by the Linguistic Society of America, following:

All LSA awards will be presented at the 2018 Annual Meeting on Saturday, January 6.