The LSA is delighted to announce the following awards for 2021.  Recipients will be recognized at a virtual Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, January 13 from 5:00 - 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time. Read more about LSA honors and awards

Best Paper in Language Award: Julie Anne Legate, Faruk Akkuş, Milena Šereikaitė, Donald Ringe (University of Pennsylvania), “On passives of passives." Volume 96. Number 4 (December 2020).

Voice phenomena are core to the expression of verbal arguments in many languages, and the study of passive voice has had an especially long and rich history. A core intuition about passive voice verbs is they cannot themselves be passivized, something first given explicit treatment by Perlmutter and Postal (1977). However, a deeper explanation of this fact has proved elusive, and subsequent work has identified three apparent counterexamples, found in Turkish, Lithuanian, and Sanskrit. In their 2020 Language paper Julie Anne Legate, Faruk Akkuş, Milena Šereikaitė, and Don Ringe reexamine these three case studies, and through careful, detailed empirical argumentation demonstrate that in each case the construction represents something other than a passive of a passive. Building on recent traditions that decompose verbal argument structure in the syntax, Legate et al. show that an analysis of the passive as a separate Voice head that only derives a passive function when used in exactly one context --- in lieu of an active Voice head --- naturally explains why verbs cannot be passivized twice. This study thus shores up a decades-old generalization about passive voice, while also offering a new understanding of what the central ingredients of voice are.



Leonard Bloomfield Book Award: John H. Esling, Scott R. Moisik, Allison Benner and Lise Crevier-Buchman (pictured at right, clockwise from upper left), Voice Quality: The Laryngeal Articulator Model (Cambridge University Press)

Esling, Moisik, Benner and Crevier-Buchman’s Voice Quality presents a groundbreaking analysis of the phonetics of the lower vocal tract and traces the extraordinary breadth of its consequences. Their Laryngeal Articulator Model draws on a wide variety of instrumental observations and computational simulations to provide a comprehensive model of voice quality and other laryngeal articulations, supported by a wealth of videos and sound files available online*. The authors provide a sound theoretical basis for not only the phonological realization of laryngeal articulation but also its emergence from infant vocalizations, its exploitation for paralinguistic communication including individual voice quality, accent, speech and vocal song styles in many cultures, the analysis and treatment of clinical disorders of the lower vocal tract, and its role in sound change and phylogeny.  




Elizabeth Pine Dayton Award: Pocholo Umbal, University of Toronto. 

This year’s Elizabeth Dayton award winner is Pocholo Umbal, a graduate student in sociolinguistics in the Ph.D. program at the University of Toronto. His specialization is the study of variation and change in Heritage Tagalog, working in the Tagalog diasporic community in Toronto. He has already embarked on a robust program of publication of his research, and this award recognizes both his academic achievements to date and his academic promise in the future.






Early Career Award: Nicholas Henriksen, University of Michigan

Dr. Henriksen exemplifies the commitment to professional excellence that this award embodies. At this phase of his career, Dr. Henriksen has already proven to be a prolific scholar. As an Associate Professor of Spanish Linguistics in the Department of Romance Languages & Literatures, and of Trinidadian heritage (self-identifying as West Indian), this award recognizes the achievements of Dr. Henriksen and underrepresented minorities in Linguistics. Dr. Henriksen is an advocate for minorities in Linguistics and a member of LSA who embraces core values of the society by conducting community-engaged research, promoting linguistic and cultural awareness, and seeking social justice.




Excellence in Community Linguistics Award:  Chikari Tisso

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.  In 2021, the award will be given to Chikari Tisso, a native speaker and language activist of the Karbi language of Northeast India. He has been both documenting the traditional language, and developing the modern language, in particular through publishing books and articles, and audio/video-recording knowledgeable community members. Tisso has extensively served the Karbi Lammet Amei (Karbi Literary Organization) and co-founded the Centre for Karbi Studies. He was the primary Karbi collaborator for 'A grammar of Karbi' (2015 Association for Linguistic Typology Panini Award). Currently Tisso is documenting the Karbi song language and traditional lullabies, while also focusing on Karbi lexicology, both to edit a comprehensive dictionary of the Karbi language and as Chief Editor of a Multilingual Dictionary project (involving 8 indigenous community languages of the region).



Victoria A. Fromkin Lifetime Service Award: Larry Hyman, University of California, Berkeley

Larry M. Hyman's career is a testament to the idea that scholarly accomplishment goes hand in hand with devotion to service to the field. On LSA committees and as part of its leadership, as an organizer of scholarly meetings and a member of editorial boards around the world, as a passionate advocate for the LSA, and as a host and sommelier at innumerable linguistic events, Hyman makes us all want to belong to the community of linguists.






Kenneth l. Hale Award: Sharon Hargus, University of Washington

For decades of tireless work with three endangered Athabaskan languages of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest and the Yakima Sahaptin language of Washington state. Professor Hargus has worked together with the communities of Moricetown (Witsuwit'en), Fort Ware (Kwadacha/Tsek’ene) and the Lower Yukon River (Deg Xinag), and with co-author and consultant Dr. Virginia Beavert (Yakima Sahaptin), in documenting, recording, analyzing, teaching, and revitalizing these four languages. She has produced grammars, dictionaries, sound files, teaching materials, and scholarly articles numbering thousands of pages and thousands of recordings. She has also left a legacy of Athabaskanists and other linguists she has trained, who are themselves now devoted to the preservation of endangered languages.






Linguistics, Language and the Public Award: Gretchen McCulloch, Internet Linguist

Gretchen’s work is engaging, accessible, and bi-directional -- connecting the public to linguistics, and linguists to the public. Her work on creating public linguistics (including her All Things Linguistic blog, the podcast Lingthusiasm, a New York Times best-selling book Because Internet, and the recent Linguistics Crash Course videos) complements her work to train and empower linguists to create material for the public (including guides on writing for the public, presentations and workshops, Wikipedia edit-a-thons, and most recently LingComm grants). Gretchen brings linguistics and the public together with delight and enthusiasm, in what BuzzFeed has called a “joyously nerdy” way.




Mentoring Award: Donna Jo Napoli, Swarthmore College

Over her forty-five-year career, Donna Jo Napoli has lived a life defined largely by committed and sustained mentoring. Her personalized mentoring style has transformed the lives of many. She was the visionary leader and an instrumental force in building the Tri-Co Linguistics program (Swarthmore, Haverford, Bryn Mawr) by mentoring students, junior colleagues, and administrators who became allies. Using her linguistic skills as an advocate for the language rights of deaf children, she mentors others to help them do the same. Dr. Napoli’s multifaceted and long-term mentoring has made an overwhelmingly strong and positive impact on the field.





The Student Abstract Award is given to the top three abstracts submitted for the LSA Annual Meeting that are authored solely by students.  All student-authored abstracts submitted are automatically considered for this award.  In 2021, the award will be given to (pictured at left, clockwise from upper left):

First place:  Hironori Katsuda (University of Caifornia, Los Angeles) and Jeremy Steffman (Universtiy of California, Los Angeles):  The role of segment and pitch accent in Japanese spoken word recognition.

Second place: Shannon Bryant (Harvard University): Evidence from Oromo on the typology of complementation strategies

Third place: Maura O'Leary (University of California, Los Angeles) and Richard Stockwell (University of California, Los Angeles): Skills-based grading: a novel approach to teaching formal semantics