Linguistics Journalism Award


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. Awarded yearly as nominations warrant.


Nominations may be submitted by any individual or entity that wishes to do so, including members of the award selection committee. The news story must have been presented/published during the time period specified in the call for nominations. Nominations are particularly encouraged from LSA members, news organizations, journalists, and public relations professionals.
The letter of nomination should include the following, as appropriate:
  • Significance of the story or body of work which is the basis of the nomination
  • Accessibility of the work to non-specialist audiences
*Nomination links will only be active during the nomination window.  In 2024, nominations are open April 8th - end of day on July 12th. Nominations will not be accepted after this date.


Nominations are reviewed by a committee consisting of 2-3 members of the LSA Public Relations Committee (PRC) and the Executive Committee liaison to the PRC. This committee makes recommendations to the Executive Committee, which must formally approve the recommendations.

Previous Awardees


Elizabeth Weil for "You Are Not a Parrot. And a Chatbot is Not a Human" (New York Times March 1, 2024)


Andrew Leland for "DeafBlind Communities May Be Creating a New Language of Touch" (The New Yorker, May 12, 2022)


Allyson Waller for "Black, Deaf, and Extremely Online" (New York Times January 23, 2021).


Thomas Curwen for "Column One: Tongva, Los Angeles' First Language, Opens the Door to a Forgotten Time and Place" (Los Angeles Times May 9, 2019). 


Patrick Cox for "The World in Words" podcast (Public Radio International).


Lane Greene for the twice-a-month column "Johnson" (The Economist).


Arika Okrent for "Mental Floss".


Ben Zimmer for the body work represented by his contributions as the Wall Street Journal's columnist and his articles on linguistics in The Atlantic, the Boston Globe, Slate's Lexicon Valley blog and many other popular publications