Best Paper in Language Award


This award, made for the first time in 2012, is given for the best paper published in the journal Language in any given year. 


All papers published in a given year are eligible for review. As per LSA policy, each paper must have at least one LSA member as an author. Associate Editors of Language are invited to recommend specific articles in their areas of expertise for priority review.


The LSA Awards Committee reviews nominations and makes recommendations to the Executive Committee, which must formally approve the recommendations.

Previous Awardees


Kelly Elizabeth Wright. "Housing Policy & Linguistic Profiling: An Audit Study of Three American Dialects." Language 99.2 (June 2023)


Rachel Nordinger, Gabriela Garrido Rodgriquez, and Evan Kidd. “Sentence Planning and Production in Murrinhpatha, an Australian ‘Free Word Order’ Language.” Language 98.2 (June 2022)


Kendra Calhoun, Anne Charity Hudley, Mary Bucholtz, Jazmine Exford, and Brittney Johnson. “Attracting Black students to linguistics through a Black-centered Introduction to Linguistics course.” Language 97.1 (March 2022)


Julie Anne Legate, Faruk Akkuş, Milena Šereikaitė and Donald Ringe. “On passives of passives." Language 96.4 (December 2020).


Natasha Abner, Molly Flaherty, Katelyn Stangl, Marie Coppola, Diane Brentari, and Susan Goldin-Meadow. "The noun-verb distinction in established and emergent sign systems." Language 95.2 (June 2019).


Benjamin Bruening. "The lexicalist hypothesis: Both wrong and superfluous." Language 94.1. (


Angelica Buerkin-Pontrelli, Jennifer Culbertson, Géraldine Legendre, and Thierry Nazzi. "Competing models of liaison acquisition: Evidence from corpus and experimental data." Language 93.1 (March, 2017).


John R. Rickford and Sharese King. “Language and Linguistics on Trial: Hearing Rachel Jeantel (and Other Vernacular Speakers) in the Courtroom and Beyond.” Language 92.4 (December, 2016).


Will Chang, Chundra Cathcart, David Hall, and Andrew Garrett. "Ancestry-constrained phylogenetic analysis supports the Indo-European steppe hypothesis." Language 91.1 (March 2015).


Nikolaus P. Himmelmann. "Asymmetries in the prosodic phrasing of function words: Another look at the suffixing preference." Language 90.4 (December 2014).


Judith Tonhauser, David Beaver, Craige Roberts and Mandy Simons. “Toward a taxonomy of projective content.” Language 89.1 (March 2013).


Bruce Hayes, Colin Wilson and Anne Shisko. "Maxent Grammars for the Metrics of Shakespeare and Milton." Language 88.4 (December 2012).


Jointly, to Thomas Weskott & Gisbert Fanselow, and Jon Sprouse.

"On the informativity of different measures of linguistic acceptability," by Weskott and Fanselow, and "A test of the cognitive assumptions of magnitude estimation: Commutativity does not hold for acceptability judgments," by Sprouse. Language 87.2 (May 2011).