Creating Canadian English: The Professor, the Mountaineer, and a National Variety of English

Cambridge University Press


This lively account of the making of Canadian English traces the variety’s conceptual, social and linguistic developments from the twentieth century to the present. This book is not just another history of Canadian English; it is a history of the variety’s discovery, codification, and eventual acceptance, as well as the contribution of the linguists behind it. Written by an active research linguist focusing on Canadian English, this book is an archive-based biography on multiple levels. Through a combination of new data and re-interpretations of existing studies, a new voice is given to earlier generations of Canadian linguists who, generally forgotten today, shaped the variety and how we think about it. Exploring topics such as linguistic description and codification, dictionary making, linguistic imperialism, linguistic attitudes, language and Canadian identity, or the threat of Americanisation, Dollinger presents a coherent, integrated and balanced account of developments spanning over almost a century.

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About the Author

Stefan Dollinger

I received my PhD at the University of Vienna, Austria, under the direction of Herbert Schendl and Nikolaus Ritt on the historical development of English in 18th and 19th century Canada, exemplified by the modal auxiliary system (external examiner J. K. Chambers). This book was awarded the Austrian Young Researcher Award (ASCINA Award). My M.A. thesis (supervised by Nikolaus Ritt) deals with morphological change in Old and Middle English, which is interpreted in a framework of cultural evolution.

I studied for a year at the University of Toronto towards my M.A. and when working on my Ph.D. dissertation, I spent one year at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. After becoming a Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Fellow at UBC (SSHRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow), I was Assistant Professor of English (2009–14), and now Associate Professor of English at UBC (2014–). In the fall of 2015 I also joined GU’s SPL Department as Professor of English Linguistics. I have also worked in Germany, when I was Canadian Studies Guest Professor at the University of Kiel in 2012.

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