Award: Roger Shuy Best Paper in American Speech for 2020 for Article Co-Authored by Jim Wood, Raffaella Zanuttini, Larry Horn, and Jason Zentz

April 29, 2021

The “Roger Shuy Best Paper of 2020” prize for the journal American Speech was awarded to an article (“Dative Country: Markedness and Geographical Variation in Southern Dative Constructions”) co-authored by four members of the Yale Linguistics Department: Jim Wood, Raffaella Zanuttini, Larry Horn and Jason Zentz. Here are a few sentences from the committee’s comments:

“It’s got everything: understudied constructions (note, more than one), innovative methods (esp. the new algorithm), beautiful use of visuals, and nuance in every point of discussion.”

“Syntactic and semantic/pragmatic variation are notoriously challenging to document using variationist tools. Wood et al. put forth a rigorous variationist examination of Southern dative forms that is thoroughly informed by broader semantic, pragmatic, and syntactic theory. They provide a clear model for considering multiple levels of structure in our conceptions of the sociolinguistic variable, deriving insights about the cline of acceptability for various forms of this construction.”

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