The LSA is delighted to announce that the 2020 Leonard Bloomfield Book Award will be given to Vsevolod Kapatsinski (University of Oregon) for his book Changing Minds Changing Tools: From Learning Theory to Language Acquisition to Language Change (MIT Press, 2018).

Vsevolod Kapatsinski’s Changing Minds Changing Tools offers an extraordinary synthesis of contemporary learning theory in a usage-based approach to language. It argues that associationist learning, error-driven predictive learning, and Bayesian learning all play a role in different aspects of language use, acquisition, and change. This integrated model of learning is able to account for an enormous range of experimental results without invoking language-specific learning mechanisms. Focusing on phonetics, phonology, morphology and the lexicon, the book shows how general learning mechanisms can account for distributional learning, learning schematic linguistic structure and learning paradigmatic structure. Kapatsinski demonstrates how neurocognitive learning theory can ground theories of language structure, language processing, language acquisition, and language change in the fundamental phenomenon of language use.

Kapatsinski and representatives from MIT Press will be on hand to receive the award during a ceremony held at the LSA Annual Meeting on Saturday evening, January 4. 

Read more about the LSA's  honors and awardds here.