2024 Award Winners

Arnold Zwicky Award

Professor Lal Zimman

This award, given for the first time in 2021, is intended to recognize the contributions of LGBTQ+ scholars in Linguistics and is named for Arnold Zwicky, the first LGBTQ+ President of the LSA. The Committee on LGBTQ+ [Z] Issues in Linguistics (COZIL) is pleased to announce that Professor Lal Zimman is the LSA's 2024 Arnold Zwicky Award recipient.

Lal Zimman, an Associate Professor of Linguistics at UC Santa Barbara, is recognized as a global leader in the area of trans linguistics. His research on trans language has had a significant impact on sociocultural linguistics, sociophonetics, inclusive pedagogy, and social justice- and community-based linguistics. Zimman has also been active in advocating for trans inclusion in the discipline and the academy, and he has been a mentor to many trans students. He now directs the Trans Research in Linguistics Lab (TRILL) at UCSB, which is dedicated not only to studying trans linguistics but also holistically supporting trans students and scholars.

Best Paper in Language Award

Dr. Kelly Elizabeth Wright

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. The Awards Committee has agreed that the 2024 award for Best Paper in Language is "Housing Policy & Linguistic Profiling: An Audit Study of Three American Dialects" by Dr. Kelly Elizabeth Wright.

The Awards Committee's selection of this publication is based on Wright's innovative and exacting experimental design that utilizes a proportional odds logistic regression model in concert with assessments of inequities in housing market access that reveal asymmetrical linguistic prestige where property managers identify racial and regional differences with legal relevance insofar as violations of the fair housing act are affirmed utilizing nine controlled linguistic stimuli that are subsequently tested in no less than ten conditions for each variant. Building on prior linguistic, perceptual, and sociological studies of voice and housing discrimination, Wright breaks new ground with findings that would not be possible without precise phonological, prosodic, and intonational control. In addition to adding new research that complements other studies of linguistic profiling internationally, Wright's publication is the first to demonstrate statistically significant bias against female speech pertaining to mainstream, working-class, and nonstandard varieties of American English.

C.L. Baker Award

Professor Jessica Coon

Given for the first time in 2020 and in honor of the legacy of the late C. L. Baker (1939-1997), the C.L. Baker Award recognizes excellence in research in the area of syntactic theory on the part of a scholar who is at the mid-point of a distinguished career. The C.L. Baker Award Committee has selected Professor Jessica Coon as the recipient of the C.L. Baker Award in 2024.

Jessica Coon has made important empirical and theoretical contributions to syntax, especially in the study of argument structure and the morphosyntax of argument realization. Her careful documentary fieldwork and insightful analytic work on Mayan languages has led to a better understanding of diverse phenomena including split ergativity, case and agreement systems, nominalization, and conditions on word and morpheme order. Her research on less studied and endangered languages contributes effectively both to theoretical advances in the field and to engaged scholarship in constructive partnership with the communities who speak the languages themselves.

Early Career Award

Dr. Laura Kalin

Instituted in 2010, this award recognizes scholars early in their careers who have made outstanding contributions to the field of linguistics. The Awards Committee has selected Dr. Laura Kalin as the recipient of the 2024 Early Career Award based on an exceptional record of service, research, teaching, and publication, combined with the innovative reformulation of linguistic course offerings for the Program in Linguistics at Princeton University. The Awards Committee was especially impressed by her "high rate of publication and visibility in theoretical morpho-syntax." One nominator observed, "Laura Kalin has emerged as a leader in morphology, syntax, and their interaction" with a "prodigious record of influential publications and presentations, with major contributions on a range of topics from Differential Object Marking to Infixation and beyond." Colleagues at Princeton emphasized her outsized contributions to revamping and overhauling the undergraduate curriculum with distinction. Her balanced contributions maintain exceptionally high standards, further enhanced by her steadfast devotion to her students. 

Elizabeth Pine Dayton Award

Jeremy Rud

The Elizabeth Dayton Award is a travel award intended to enable graduate students pursuing topics in sociolinguistics to attend the LSA Annual Meeting. The Elizabeth Dayton Award Committee is pleased to announce that the Elizabeth Pine Dayton Award recipient this year is Jeremy Rud, a doctoral student from the University of California, Davis.

Jeremy's research examines language in contexts of migration using ethnographic discourse analysis, where he examines how minute facets of linguistic interactions affect the actualization of migrants' human rights as they seek asylum. His strong academic profile, innovative research, and accomplishments are outstanding. The committee members were impressed with Jeremy's academic profile and awarded him the 2023 Elizabeth Pine Dayton Award.

Excellence in Community Linguistics Award

Abduweli Ayup

First established in 2013, 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. The contributions made by awardees may be varied, including, among other things, documentation work with a linguist as a consultant and efforts toward language revitalization. The Committee on Endangered Languages and Their Preservation (CELP) has selected Abduweli Ayup for the Excellence in Community Linguistics Award for his invaluable work and contributions to the Uyghur community.

Abduweli Ayup has devoted much of his adult life to giving back to the Uyghur community, particularly promoting the preservation and continuity of the Uyghur language despite the risks involved. The Linguistic Society of America recognizes Abduweli for developing Uyghur language teaching materials in a continuous effort to maintain the intergenerational transmission of Uyghur language and culture. His commitment ensures that future generations of Uyghurs will have tools to both keep the Uyghur language alive and embrace their linguistic heritage.

Leonard Bloomfield Book Award

Native speakers, interrupted

Professor Silvina MontrulFirst presented in 1992, this award recognizes a volume that makes an outstanding contribution of enduring value to our understanding of language and linguistics. Nominations must address the volume's exemplary scholarship, enduring value, novelty, empirical import, conceptual significance, and clarity and include a brief citation that can be read at the presentation of the award. The Bloomfield Book Award Committee congratulates Professor Silvina Montrul on her book "Native speakers, interrupted," published by Cambridge University Press in 2022. 

A heritage language is a language spoken at home by bilingual children of immigrant parents. Written by a leading figure in the field, this pioneering, in-depth study brings together three heritage languages – Hindi, Spanish and Romanian - spoken in the United States. It demonstrates how heritage speakers drive morphosyntactic change when certain environmental characteristics are met and considers the relationship between social and cognitive factors and timing in language acquisition, bilingualism, and language change.

Linguistics Journalism Award

Elizabeth Weil

Established by the LSA in 2014, this award honors the journalist whose work best represents linguistics during the 12-month consideration period indicated in the call for nominations. The award is based on a single news story or body of work that reflects accuracy and timeliness as regards the material but is also appealing to non-specialist audiences. The Public Relations Committee has selected Elizabeth Weil for the article "You are not a parrot and a chatbot is not a human," published in New York Magazine on March 1, 2023, as the recipient of the 2024 Linguistics Journalism Award.  

The article highlights the significance of linguistics for language technology. This outstanding work is impactful and written for a non-specialist audience but still shows the importance of language and linguistics. Through interviews with U Washington linguist Emily Bender, the article covers a range of topics, such as the importance of linguistics for technology and addressing systematic biases in the fields. It also shows debates within linguistics, giving a nuanced perspective of different views across computational linguistics. In other words, it is an accurate portrayal of the non-monolithic culture within the field.

Linguistics, Language, and the Public Award

Professor Laura Wagner

Professor Cecile McKeeFirst presented in 1997, this award honors an individual or group for work that effectively increases public awareness and understanding of linguistics and language. The Public Relations Committee agreed that Professor Laura Wagner (left) and Professor Cecile McKee (right) are the well-deserved recipients of the Linguistics, Language and the Public Award this year. 

Laura Wagner and Cecile McKee specialize in engaging with people in a very direct way, using hands-on activities that feature the methods and results of linguistics research. They work in public venues like museums and festivals, including the Center for Science and Industry (OH), Tucson Book Festival (AZ), and the AAAS Family Science Days (various locations). They extend their reach and strengthen the field by training others to create their own accessible, interactive demonstrations. Their 2023 book How to Talk Language Science with Everybody provides encouragement and guidance for linguists who want to reach broader audiences in direct ways. This book provides evidence-based advice (including evidence from the field of linguistics) about how to effectively engage with the general public, including structured worksheets to help readers develop materials and activities for their own engagement projects.

Mentoring Award

Professor Marlyse Baptista

Instituted in 2019, this award recognizes the work of individuals or organizations that have exhibited a sustained commitment to mentoring linguists. The Awards Committee is pleased to announce Professor Marlyse Baptista as the 2024 Mentoring Award Recipient.

Dr. Baptista is an exceptional linguist of rare distinction whose guidance of students benefits from expansive global familiarity with diverse languages, speech communities, and a profusion of relevant linguistic theories and methods that she utilizes in exacting detail. She has served as chair of numerous distinguished doctoral dissertations and contributed to a plethora of other graduate and undergraduate projects that touch on nearly every branch of linguistic science. Her nomination accentuates selfless devotion; "she endeavors to make every student feel welcome and succeed – particularly those from underrepresented groups." Additionally, her "wide range of expertise has made her a true resource to her colleagues and students" while demonstrating "deep humility which allows her to truly be a collaborator as well as a guide to her mentees." Her service includes exceptional teaching at the University of Georgia, the University of Michigan, and the University of Pennsylvania, where she now serves as the "President's Distinguished Professor of Linguistics." This award coincides with the beginning of her presidency of the Linguistic Society of America. 

Morris Halle Memorial Award for Faculty Excellence in Phonology 

Professor Hannah Sande First established in 2021, the Morris Halle Award for Faculty Excellence in Phonology was designed to award outstanding scholarship in phonology by an early career faculty member in linguistics. The Halle Award and Fromkin Prize Committee unanimously decided to recognize Professor Hannah Sande as the new recipient of the Morris Halle Memorial Award for Faculty Excellence in Phonology Award in 2024.

Hannah Sande was awarded on the basis of her impressive publication record as well as her impact on students and the Africanist community. A theoretical innovator in phonology and its interfaces with morphology and syntax who carefully grounds her work in detailed, variegated documentation of Guébie and other languages and who uplifts her students and West African collaborators and interlocutors, Hannah Sande is a model for phonologists in the twenty-first century. Her extensive and well-documented Guébie fieldwork has provided an important source for other researchers working with Kru languages and Ivorian cultures as well as for the Guébie community.

Student Abstract Award

Instituted in 2010, the Student Abstract Award recognizes the best abstract submitted by a student for a paper or poster presentation at the 2024 LSA Annual Meeting. The Awards Committee is pleased to congratulate three outstanding abstracts by these students.

Victoria A. Fromkin Lifetime Service Award

Professor Donna Jo Napoli

First presented in 2001 as the "Victoria A. Fromkin Prize for Distinguished Service," this award recognizes individuals who have performed extraordinary service to the discipline and the Society throughout their career. The Awards Committee is pleased to announce that Professor Donna Jo Napoli has been selected as the recipient of the Victoria A. Fromkin Lifetime Service Award in 2024.

Dr. Donna Jo Napoli has been a longstanding member of the LSA, serving the Society in numerous capacities, including extensive committee contributions on the Executive Committee, the Language in the School Curriculum Committee, COGEL under its previous title as the Committee on the Status of Women in Linguistics, and the Linguistics, Language, and Public Interest Award committee (which she chaired). She is the 2021 recipient of the LSA Mentoring Award, and her vast linguistic research represents a compelling representation of public-facing studies of American Sign Language along with sustained efforts to promote the central mission of the Society to advance the scientific study of language, which she has accomplished through many books and articles pertaining to syntax, predication theory, and prosodic properties, among others. She was an invited plenary speaker at the 2023 LSA Annual Meeting, where her innovative scholarship demonstrated further evidence of her lifetime service to elevate linguistic research and teaching devoted to improving the human condition globally.

Victoria Fromkin Memorial Prize for Student Excellence in Phonology Award

Katherine RussellFirst established in 2021, the Victoria Fromkin Memorial Prize for Student Excellence in Phonology was designed to celebrate outstanding scholarship in phonology by a linguistics graduate student. The Halle Award and Fromkin Prize Committee was unanimous in awarding Katherine Russell the Victoria Fromkin Memorial Prize for Student Excellence in Phonology Award.

Katherine Russell was awarded on the basis of the exceptional quality and breadth of her work. Through original fieldwork, corpus studies, and careful, collaborative documentation and description of understudied languages, in particular Paraguayan Guaraní and Atchan, her work has implications for several areas of linguistics, including the typology of harmony, comparative linguistics, and the architecture of grammar. Her innovative corpus-building and corpus-informed analyses of understudied languages serve as a model for other scholars to follow.

CEDL Travel Awards

The Ethnic Diversity in Linguistics Committee (CEDL) is delighted to announce three winners of the CEDL Travel Grants to attend the upcoming 2024 LSA Annual Meeting in New York. The CEDL travel grants are supported by the Dennis R. and Carol Guagliardo Preston Fund for Diversity in Linguistics and administered by the LSA's Committee on Ethnic Diversity in Linguistics (CEDL). 

These travel awards are intended to increase the participation of underrepresented ethnoracial minorities in the LSA. Each grant assists LSA student members in traveling to the Annual Meeting.

FGAE Travel Award

The First Gen Access & Equity (FGAE) Committee is granting one $500 travel award to a first-generation student in linguistics to attend the 2024 LSA Annual Meeting in New York. This award is intended to increase the participation of first-gen students in the LSA and FGAE Committee; awardees will have the opportunity to explore linguistics topics or pursue their own areas of interest further by connecting with peers and scholars at the Annual Meeting. 

 The FGAE Committee has selected Yin Lin Tan for this award.


COGEL Travel Awards

The Committee on Gender Equity in Linguistics (COGEL) is delighted to announce the recipients of the inaugural COGEL Travel Awards: Allison Casar (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) and Aya Halabi (University of Michigan).

The COGEL Travel Awards are intended to increase the participation of gender-diverse student members in the 2024 LSA Annual Meeting. Awardees will get the opportunity to engage with linguistic research and to network with other researchers and peers.