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General Information on Prizes & Awards

On this page, you can learn about the SLA prizes including details regarding submissions such as deadlines. Please also check for Announcements!

You may learn about Previous Winners here.

Annual Student Essay Prizes: Call for Papers

Submissions for the Annual Student Essay Prizes are now open. The deadline is February 1, 2024.

The Society for Linguistic Anthropology holds an annual student essay competition at both undergraduate and graduate levels. In order to be eligible for one of these awards, the applicant must have been either a graduate or undergraduate student in a degree-granting program when the paper was written; must be the sole author of the paper; and must submit the paper no more than two years after it was written.

The paper must be an original work based on original research conducted by the author. It will be evaluated on the basis of clarity, significance to the field, and substantive contribution. The paper must not exceed 10,000 words for the Gumperz graduate essay prize; 8000 for the thesis or equivalent category of the undergraduate prize; 4000 for the course paper category, including bibliography. At the time of submission for this competition, the paper must not have been published or submitted for publication.

The undergraduate winner will receive a cash award, a certificate of accomplishment, and a small travel grant to the AAA meeting. The graduate award winner will receive a cash award, a small travel grant to present their paper at the annual AAA meeting, and an invitation to submit the paper for consideration for publication with the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology.

Submissions should be in English. Membership in SLA is not required for submission, although it is required for prize winners who wish to present their papers at the AAA conference.

Inquiries about the prizes should be directed to:

Please submit using the appropriate google forms as follows:

SLA Book Prizes 2024: 

The Edward Sapir Book Prize

Submissions for the Edward Sapir prize are now open. The deadline is March 15, 2024.

The Edward Sapir Book Prize, established in 2001, is a prize awarded to a book that makes a significant contribution to our understanding of language in society, or the ways in which language mediates historical or contemporary sociocultural processes.  The Sapir prize will be awarded in 2024 and will cover books published between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2023. Thereafter, the prize will be awarded biennially. Authors must be members of the SLA at the time of submission. The same book cannot be submitted to both the Sapir Prize and the New Voices book prize competitions.

A selection committee appointed by the president of the SLA will evaluate the submissions. The winner(s) of the book prize will be determined in advance of the AAA annual meeting, and they assume responsibility for notifying their publisher. The formal announcement of the winner/s will take place during the AAA annual meeting.

SLA New Voices Book Prize 

Submissions for the New Voices Book Prize will open in Winter 2025.

The New Voices Book Prize, established in 2021, is a biennial prize awarded to a book by a junior scholar (published within twelve years of the PhD) that makes a pathbreaking contribution to the field of linguistic anthropology.

The SLA invites books with conceptual and theoretical focus, as well as ethnographic and descriptive works. Single-or multi-author books – but not edited collections– are eligible. Books must be written in English and have been published between January 1, 2023 and December 31, 2024 to be eligible for the 2025 award. Any given book is eligible in only one biennial round of competition. The same book cannot be submitted to both the Sapir Prize and the New Voices book prize competitions. Authors must be members of the SLA at the time of submission.

To submit your book for the SLA Book Prizes, please fill out the submission form at Questions about the prizes can be addressed to