Arnold Zwicky Award


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 winner will be recognized at the Awards Ceremony at the LSA Annual Meeting. Beginning in 2022, as part of the Award, the Award winner will receive a one-year complimentary membership to the LSA. This award is given annually, as nominations warrant. 


The Zwicky Award recognizes LGBTQ+ linguists who have made significant contributions to the discipline, the Society, or the wider LGBTQ+ community through scholarship, outreach, service, and/or teaching. Eligible applicants will be current members of the LSA and identify within the LGBTQ+ community. Eligibility is open to applicants at any career stage.

The prize is intended to recognize distinguished accomplishments by LGBTQ+ scholars, whether working directly on LGBTQ+ issues in language or not. Nominations will be considered based on excellence in one or more of the following areas, focusing on the most recent 3-5 year period:
  • Scholarship, including presentations, reports, and publications
  • Outreach outside academia, including podcasts, interviews, and journalistic publications
  • Service to the LGBTQ+ community, including activist and advocacy work, organizing, and mentorship
  • Teaching, including excellence in course design, creation of teaching materials, and sharing teaching expertise with others
  • Other information relevant to their work as an LGBTQ+ scholar in Linguistics

Nominations consist of a nomination form, an updated CV for the nominee, and a brief citation that can be read at the presentation of the award. Self-nominations and nominations by others are equally welcome.

*Nomination links will only be active during the nomination window. In 2024, nominations are open from April 8th until the end of the day on July 12th. Nominations will not be accepted after this date.


The LSA Committee on LGBTQ+ [Z] Issues in Linguistics reviews nominations and makes recommendations to the Executive Committee, which must formally approve the recommendations.



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.


Dr. Rusty Barrett is a world-renowned sociolinguist and linguistic anthropologist at the University of Kentucky. His research areas are primarily in Mayan languages and in language, gender, and sexuality. His scholarly accomplishments include two forthcoming co-edited handbooks on Language, Gender, and Sexuality, which are already proving valuable resources for scholars and teachers in these fields. His public-facing work has addressed how the mainstream appropriation of slang from queer communities of color has elided those communities' rich histories. Dr. Barrett has served as a mentor for numerous student projects on LGBTQ+ topics, not just in his home department but also across many institutions and fields. Within the LSA, Dr. Barrett co-convened the original Special Interest Group on LGBTQ+ Issues in Linguistics, which later became COZIL. He has a vision of what we—linguists, scholars, educators—can be if we consider exactly what it means to understand others.


Kirby Conrod, for their contributions to linguistic research and pedagogy on the changing use of pronouns; for fostering inclusivity and belongingness within and beyond the LSA for people whose pronouns have changed or are novel; and for their far-reaching public educational efforts about gender diversity, pronouns, and inclusive LGBTQ+ language practices.