This annual award, in honor of SSLA Founding Editor Albert Valdman, is for an outstanding paper in the previous year's volume.
The 2016 award-winning paper is "L1 Influence on the Acquisition Order of English Grammatical Morphemes: A Learner Corpus Study," Volume 38, Issue 3, by Akira Murakami and Theodora Alexopoulou
We wish to express our sincere gratitude to Studies in Second Language Acquisition and Cambridge University Press for selecting our paper, ‘L1 influence on the acquisition order of English grammatical morphemes: A learner corpus study’, as the winner of the Albert Valdman Award. The paper is based on the PhD thesis of Akira, who first grew his interest in SLA when he learned about the natural order in an undergraduate SLA class. It is an interesting coincidence that his very first journal paper turned out to be on the topic and eventually won this prestigious award. Morpheme studies in the 1970’s and 1980’s let us believe that the morpheme acquisition order is universal. Modern large-scale learner corpora have made it possible to empirically test the claim on a large dataset. We believe our study exemplifies a case where large-scale learner corpora contribute to SLA research, and it is our hope that more SLA researchers will turn to corpora as a data source in their research.
2016: Akira Murakami and Theodora Alexopoulou, for "L1 Influence on the Acquisition Order of English Grammatical Morphemes: A Learner Corpus Study," Volume 38, Issue 3
2015: Gregory D. Keating and Jill Jegerski, for "Experimental Designs in Sentence Processing Research: A Methodological Review and User's Guide," Volume 37, Issue 1
2014: Dr. Sible Andringa, for "The Use of Native Speaker Norms in Critical Period Hypothesis Research," Volume 36, Issue 3