The Bloomfield Book Award Committee has made the following selection for the Award to be presented at the 2023 Annual Meeting. The Committee (Jack Martin, Chair, Charles Yang, Marlyse Baptista, and Mary Kohn) had 8 nominated books to consider for the Award this year.

From the committee:

Nadine Grimm
Nadine Grimm

The LSA congratulates Nadine Grimm for her 2021 book A Grammar of Gyeli. Although she is still a junior scholar, the author has shown remarkable success in documenting the Ngòló variety of the Bantu language Gyeli. The work is based on 19 months of research in Cameroon. During that time, the author conducted 170 hours of elicitation, recorded and transcribed natural texts, conducted stimulus-based research and experiments, took acoustic measurements, and used questionnaires to conduct surveys. At every turn, she has carefully supported her analysis with quantitative data. She includes a lexicon of 1,500 words, along with a list of verb extensions. To ensure accountability, she has made primary video and audio recordings available at The Language Archive and has published the grammar in an open-source format through Language Science Press. Standards in language documentation have risen over the years; the LSA commends the author for keeping up with and embracing these advances.

From the publisher:

This grammar offers a grammatical description of the Ngòló variety of Gyeli, an endangered Bantu (A80) language spoken by 4,000-5,000 “Pygmy” hunter-gatherers in southern Cameroon. It represents one of the most comprehensive descriptions of a northwestern Bantu language.

The grammatical description, which is couched in a form-to-function approach, covers all levels of language, ranging from Gyeli phonology to its information structure and complex clauses.

It draws on nineteen months of fieldwork carried out as part of the “Bagyeli/Bakola” DoBeS (Documentation of Endangered Languages) project between 2010 and 2014. The resulting multimodal corpus from that project, which includes texts of diverse genres such as traditional stories, narratives, multi-party conversations and dialogues, procedural texts, and songs, provides the empirical basis for the grammatical description. The documentary text collection, supplemented by data from elicitation work, questionnaires, and experiments, is accessible in the Bagyeli/Bakola collection of The Language Archive. With additional ethnographic, sociolinguistic, diachronic, and comparative remarks, the grammar may appeal to a wider audience in general linguistics, typology, Bantu studies, and anthropology.

In 2019, the grammar received the Pāṇini Award from the Association for Linguistic Typology.