The Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas

The Mary R. Haas Book Award

The award honors the memory of Mary R. Haas (1910-1996), Professor of Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley and a founding member of the Linguistics Department, of which she was Chair for many years. She also chaired the Department of Anthropology at Berkeley from 1958-1964. There she founded the Survey of California Indian Languages and supervised the field work of more than 100 doctoral students.

Haas was a notable scholar of many indigenous languages of the Americas. Her doctoral dissertation, supervised by Edward Sapir, was a description of Tunica carried out with Sesostrie Youchigant, the last speaker of the language. She also worked with the last speakers of Natchez and Creek also publishing on Biloxi, Koasati, Choctaw, Alabama, Hichiti, Nitanat, Mobilian Jargon as well as on Thai and Burmese.

The Wikipedia entry on Mary R. Haas contains a fuller biography.

Mary R Haas, Earlham College, 1930

Mary R Haas, Earlham College, 1930

This award is presented to a junior scholar for an unpublished manuscript that makes a significant substantive contribution to our knowledge of Native American languages. Nominations may be made by anyone; however, the recipient must be a member of SSILA.

Although the award carries no financial stipend, the winning manuscript is eligible for publication under the Society’s auspices in the University of Nebraska Press series Studies in the Native Languages of the Americas.


To submit a manuscript for the Haas Award, send it in PDF format by email or on a CD by post to the Executive Secretary so as to arrive no later than June 15th each year. Please verify that it has in fact been received. The revised date for receipt of submission is July 15, 2016.


Manuscripts may be submitted in English, French, German, Portuguese or Spanish.

Winning manuscripts in English will be considered by the University of Nebraska Press for its series, “Studies in the Native Languages of the Americas.”

For winning manuscripts in languages other than English, the Society will provide letters requesting special consideration by any potential publisher in light of the manuscript’s award-winning status.


See the committee for this award here.

Previous Winning Manuscripts

1990Willem de ReuseStudies in Siberian Yup'ik EskimoUniversity of Utah Press, 1994
1991Randolph GraczykIncorporation and Cliticization in Crow MorphosyntaxUniversity of Nebraska Press, 2007
1992Carolyn MacKayGrammar of Misantla TotonacUniversity of Utah Press, 1999
1993Spike GildeaComparative Cariban Morphosyntax: On the Genesis of Ergativity in Independent Clauses
1994J. Randolph ValentineOjibwe Dialect Relationships
1994Hanni WoodburyConcerning the League: The Iroquois League Tradition as Dictated in Onondaga by John Arthur GibsonAlgonquian and Iroquoian Linguistics, Memoir 9, 1992
1995David CostaThe Miami-Illinois LanguageUniversity of Nebraska Press, 2003
1995Shanley AllenAcquisition of Some Mechanisms of Transitivity Alternation in Arctic Quebec InuktitutJohn Benjamins, 1996
1996Sara TrechterThe Pragmatic Functions of Gender Deixis in Lakhota
1997Ivy DoakCoeur d'Alene Grammatical Relations
1998Anna M. S. BergeTopic and Discourse Structure in West Greenlandic Agreement ConstructionsUniversity of Nebraska Press, 2011
1999Lynette MelnarCaddo Verb MorphologyUniversity of Nebraska Press, 2004
2000Sergio MeiraA Grammar of TiriyoMouton de Gruyter, 2005
2001Roberto ZavalaInversion and Other Topics in the Grammar of Olutec (Mixean)
2002No award
2003Pilar ValenzuelaTransitivity in Shipibo-Konibo Grammar
2004Kristine StenzelA Reference Grammar of Wanano
2005Frank SeifartThe Structure and use of Shape-Based Noun Classes in Miraña (North West Amazon)
2006Nicholas PharrisWinuunsi Tm Talapaas: A Grammar of the Molalla Language
2007No award
2008Susan Smythe KungA Descriptive Grammar of Huehuetla Tepehua
2009Eladio Mateo ToledoThe Family of Complex Predicates in C'anjob'al (Maya): Their Syntax and Meaning
2010Lynda BoudreaultA Grammar of Sierra Popoluca (Soteapanec, a Mixe-Zoquean Language)
2011Rosa VallejosA Grammar of Kokama-Kokamilla
2012Indrek ParkA Grammar of Hidatsa
2013No award
2014No award
2015Jorge Emilio Rosés LabradaThe Mako language: Vitality, grammar, and classification

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