Introducing Alessia Battista, Recipient of the 2021 ANS Emerging Scholar Award

Alessia Battista, Ph.D. Student at the University of Naples (Photo courtesy of Alessia Battista)

In 2021, Alessia Battista of the University of Naples was named the winner of the ANS Emerging Scholar Award (ANSESA) for her research in literary onomastics. Her winning paper was entitled “Stone Butch Blues: A linguistic negotiation of butch identity” which she presented at the ANS Annual Conference in January 2022. Ms Battista is currently working with her ANS mentor, Professor I.M. Nick, to turn her presentation into a manuscript for possible publication in NAMES. In addition to this mentorship, the ANSESA winner also received a cash prize of 250 US dollars, and one year of membership in the ANS. As a part of her doctoral studies, Ms. Battista would like to expand her knowledge in onomastics through a study abroad in Germany. In this interview, the 2021ANESA winner explains how she first learned about onomastics and describes what she hopes to gain from studying in Germany. If you would be interested in temporarily hosting this summa cum laude PhD student in Germany, or if you have a colleague who might have such an opportunity open for this self-funded emerging scholar, please contact her directly via email, using the phrase “GERMANY” in the subject line of your email.

How did you first become interested in names?
I have always been truly passionate about names ever since I was a child. As I grew older, I became curious to find out more about names connected to my birth city and my hometown. I first became aware of the field of onomastics by chance. I was about to complete my Master’s Degree, when the call for the ANS Emerging Scholar Award was brought to my attention. I suddenly realized how my final dissertation could contribute to the field. I was already analyzing names, but I was not aware that my work fit perfectly into onomastics. However, once I realized that, I started learning more and more about the field, and now it is an area I am deeply committed to pursuing.

Why is it important for you to study abroad in Germany?
I am currently enrolled in an international PhD program in my home country of Italy. However, as a part of my studies, I am expected to spend several months abroad for research. I would love to spend that time in Germany. I have always wanted to move there for my studies. Its advanced education system, multicultural cities, rich culture, and musical language have always attracted me. After completing my BA and MA in Foreign Languages (English and German), now is the time I hope I can make my dream of studying in Germany come true.

What could you offer a potential sponsor?
As an Italian PhD student in English and Terminology, I am currently seeking opportunities to carry out research which is relevant to my PhD project. My doctoral thesis is examining European Languages and Specialized Terminology. I would also welcome the chance to contribute to the research being conducted by a department willing to host me as an exchange student. I am a qualified teacher of Italian as L2/foreign language and I am currently a teaching assistant for English at the University of Naples. I have also successfully completed exams in Business Law, EU Law, Marketing, and Economic Sustainable Development.

Applications are now being considered for the ANSESA2022. To learn more about the application guidelines submission procedures, and eligibility requirements, please click here.

McGill BA student receives American Name Society’s Emerging Scholar Award

Congratulations to McGill BA student, Marielle Côté-Gendreau, who was recently awarded the American Name Society Emerging Scholar Award, which recognizes “outstanding scholarship of a names researcher in the early stages of his/her academic or professional career”. She received the award for her submitted article “Tracking Napoleon, his name and his myth in 19th century French Canada: Sociodemographic regard on a revealing naming pattern“, at the 2020 Annual Meeting of the American Name Society, which meets concurrently with the Linguistics Society of America, last week in New Orleans. Congratulations Marielle!

2017 Emerging Scholar Award Winner

Daniel Duncan (New York University)
Understanding St. Louis’ love for Hoosier.

The 2016 Emerging Scholar Ward Committee is pleased to announce this year’s winner: Daniel Duncan from New York University. The title of Mr. Duncan’s submission is “Understanding St. Louis’ love for Hoosier.”


Danial Duncan is a graduate student in the Department of Linguistics at New York University. His work primarily focuses on language variation and change within suburbs in the United States, using the St. Louis, MO metropolitan area as a case study.


The name Hoosier (‘Indiana resident’) instead means ‘poor, rural, white trash’ in St. Louis (STL), Missouri (Murray 1987). This paper engages in discourse analysis of several texts to explore why its use persists despite less-localized alternatives (redneck, etc.) and why it would become enregistered (Agha 2003) as a feature of the local dialect. Findings show Hoosier is used to police behavior. Unlike similar slurs, its use requires knowledge of STL’s social geography. Hoosier allows speakers to demonstrate localness while positioning themselves and STL as cosmopolitan compared to the derided target. As such, the slur asserts positive values for St. Louisans.

Attendees of the upcoming ANS annual conference in January will have a chance to hear him present his research in person.

As the ESA award-winner, Mr. Duncan will receive a cash award as well as a mentor who will assist him in preparing his research manuscript for possible publication in a future issue of NAMES. Click here for more information about the award.

This year’s ESA Committee was made up of Dr. Jan Tent (committee chair), Dr. Mirko Casagranda, and Dr. Luisa Caiazzo.

2016 Emerging Scholar Award Winner

Maryann Parada (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Ethnolinguistic emblems in Latino Chicago: Attitudes of the second generation toward names and naming

lico_photo_maryannThe 2015 Emerging Scholar Award Committee is pleased to announce this year’s winner: Maryann Parada from the University of Illinois at Chicago. The title of her submission is “Ethnolinguistic emblems in Latino Chicago: Attitudes of the second generation toward names and naming.”



This study explores the name-language interface in the identity stances and attitudes of Latinos raised in the U.S. It follows Thompson’s (2006) approach in considering the name-identity-language connections for bilinguals, and also responds to Joseph’s (2004) call for work on how individuals perceive and negotiate ethnolinguistic identity through their names. Complementing previous research into the naming decisions of Hispanic immigrant parents, I examine the name-based perspectives of the named themselves. Survey data provided by 54 Latino young adults from the Chicago area are analyzed to investigate the relationship between the ethnic character of the participants’ personal names and their responses on topics such as name suitability and satisfaction, name pronunciation preferences, name changes, and the importance of names as ethnolinguistic identity markers. While clear patterns emerged, the data also highlight the complex, and often contradictive, relationships between self, language, and name.


Maryann Parada is a doctoral candidate in Hispanic Linguistics at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her interests lie in the sociolinguistics of minority Spanish, including issues in the areas of names and identity, language attitudes, family language policy, and heritage language pedagogy. Her recent publication in the Journal of Language, Identity and Education examines the role of birth order in the names of second generation Latinos in Chicago.


Attendees of the upcoming ANS annual conference in January will have a chance to hear her present her research in person.

As the ESA award-winner, Maryann will receive a cash award as well as a mentor who will assist her in preparing her research manuscript for possible publication in a future issue of NAMES. Click here for more information about the award.

This year’s ESA Committee was made up of Dr. Mirko Casagranda, Dr. Jan Tent, and Ms. Lisa Radding.

2015 Emerging Scholar Award Winner

David Robertson (University of Victoria)
Naming Chinook Jargon

The Pacific Northwest “trade language” (pidgin) Chinook Jargon originally lacked a name. As Northwesterners became familiar with it, it gained a variety of glottonyms. This study examines how the standardly recognized name “Chinook Jargon” trumped its competitors. The history that emerges is one of 19th-century incipient recognition of contact languages, and of Euro-American metalinguistic attitudes toward nonstandard varieties of languages.… Read More