Robins Prize

Once every two years PhilSoc holds a competition for the R. H. Robins student Prize for an article on a linguistic topic that falls within the area of the Society's interests. It is named after the former PhilSoc President Professor R. H. (“Bobby”) Robins.

The Prize is awarded in open competition to anyone who is both:
(i) a registered student (at the time of submission); they should submit a letter from their supervisor, or from a person of similar standing, attesting to their status and that the submission is their own work); and,
(ii) a Member or Student Associate Member of PhilSoc.

Submissions can be singly or jointly authored, and can (but need not) have been based on some part of a projected doctoral or masters dissertation. The submission should not have been published before (except possibly in a departmental working paper or the like), nor should it have been submitted for publication elsewhere.

The author(s) of the winning submission will receive a cash prize of £500 (shared equally between the authors of a jointly authored submission); the author(s) of the runner-up essay will receive a cash prize of £250 (again, shared equally as appropriate).  Additionally, the prize-winning and runner-up submissions will be considered for publication in Transactions of the Philological Society, subject to the usual peer-review process. In making a submission, authors must undertake to give the Transactions first refusal to publish the article.

The prize will be awarded by PhilSoc Council on the recommendation of a prize committee formed from members of Council and selected peer-reviewers, with the President in the Chair. In awarding the prize the Council will take into consideration the originality of the submission and the theoretical and/or empirical contribution it makes to the discipline. Council reserves the right not to award the prize if there are no submissions of sufficient merit.

The closing date for submissions for the current competition is 30 November 2020. Submissions are to be written in English, and should not exceed (but need not be as long as) 10,000 words, including tables, figures, notes, appendices, references, etc. Submissions (in Word and PDF format) should be sent to the PhilSoc Secretary, Professor Klaus Fischer, by e-mail attachment, together with the letter mentioned in (i) above. The submission format should follow the TPhS style sheet.

The winner and runner-up will be announced at the Society's Annual General Meeting in June 2021.

Past Winners:

2018

Laura Arnold
(Edinburgh)
(joint winner)

Highs and lows: towards reconstructing the word-prosodic system of proto-Ambel

2018

Mari Aigro
(Tartu)
(joint winner)

Polar question particles and their sources: a semantic approach to grammaticalisation

2016

Jade Jørgen Sandstedt
(Edinburgh)

Transparency and blocking in Early Old Norwegian height harmony

2014

Charlotte Hemmings
(SOAS)

Kelabit voice: Philippine-type, Indonesian-type or something a bit different? (TPhS 113.3, 383–405)

2014

Silva Nurmio
(Cambridge)
(Runner-up)

Collective nouns in Welsh: a noun category or a plural allomorph?

2014

Helen Sims-Williams
(Oxford)
(Runner-up)

Analogical levelling and optimisation: the treatment of pointless lexical allomorphy in Greek

2012

No prize awarded


2010

Thomas Rainsford
(Cambridge)
(Runner up)

Dividing lines: the Changing syntax and prosody ... in Medieval French verse (TPhS 109.3 265-283)

2010

Francesco Ciconte
(Manchester)

The emergence ... of the existential pro-form: evidence from ... Italo-Romance (TPhS 109.3 284-306)

2008

Petros Karatsareas
(Cambridge)

The loss of grammatical gender in Cappadocian Greek (TPhS 107.2: 196-230)

2006

Susana Afonso
(Machester)
(Runner up)

Existentials as impersonalising devices: the case of European Portuguese (TPhS106.2: 180-215)

2006

Louise Mycock
(Manchester)

Constituent question formation and focus: A new typological perspective (TPhS 105.2: 192--251)

2004

Sarah Turner
(University College, Oxford)

Post-verbal subjects in Early East Slavonic (TPhS 104.1: 85--117)

2000

Virve-Anneli Vihman (Edinburgh)

Middle voice in Estonian (TPhS 100.1: 131--160)