Joan Bresnan receives the 2016 ACL Life Time Achievement Award

The Life Time Achievement Award of ACL (ACL LTA) is conferred to recognize the work of a researcher who has made sustained and impactful contributions to the field of Computational Linguistics/Natural Language Processing (CL/NLP). The award was instituted in 2002 and has been given every year since.

Candidates were discussed with the following factors in mind: background (education, research interest etc.), current position/affiliation, research area, specific contributions to NLP (qualitative and quantitative), past recognition, service to community. After deliberating over a period of about 3 months, the committee chooses Prof. Joan Bresnan of Stanford University as the ACL Life Time Achievement Award Winner of 2016. Through Lexical Functional Grammar and such other works on syntax and formal description of language, Prof. Bresnan has contributed immensely to computational linguistics.

Profile of Prof. Joan Bresnan


BA, 1966, Philosophy, Reed College
PhD, 1972, Linguistics, MIT


Professor Emerita, Department of Linguistics, Stanford University
Senior Researcher, Center for the Study of Language and Information, Stanford University

Services and Honors:

President of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA)
Inaugural Fellow of the LSA
Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy
Fellow of the Cognitive Science Society
Fellow of the Center for the Advanced Study of the Behavioural Sciences
Guggenhiem Fellow
Erskine Fellow of the University of Canterbury (Christchurch)
External Fellow of the Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies
Holder of the International Chair of Quantitative and Experimental Linguistics at Labex Empirical Foundations of Linguistics in Paris

Research Interests (from her homepage)

Empirical foundations of syntax
Linguistic typology
Dynamics of probabilistic grammar
Lexical-functional grammar

Contributions to CL

Joan Bresnan is one of the original designers and developers of Lexical-Functional Grammar (LFG), a formal grammar system that allows flexible, typologically diverse linguistic description has been embedded in explicit theoretical models of exemplar-based syntax, optimality-theoretic syntax, and stochastic grammar. LFG is one of the most prominent frameworks in grammar-based parsing and grammar engineering. It has been applied to a wide range of languages within the ParGram project. Joan Bresnan has published on many aspects of syntax and statistical modelling, and the papers are widely cited.