The keynote participants include four outstanding scholars in the field of Canadian English and three international scholars of English dialect variation who will put Canadian English in a global context.
Katherine Barber began her dictionary work with the Bilingual Canadian Dictionary project at the University of Ottawa. She has been interviewed around the world. The Canadian Oxford Dictionary won the Canadian Booksellers Associationís Libris Award for Non-Fiction Book of the Year and Specialty Book for 1999. Katherine Barber won the Libris Award for Editor of the Year in 1999, and was the winner of the Distinguished Alumni Award for 2000 at the University of Winnipeg.
Jack Chambers is the author of Sociolinguistic Theory: Linguistic Variation and its Social Significance, as well as numerous articles on Canadian English. He is the director of the Dialect Topography Project, a project that investigates Canadian dialects and the variation between them, as well as the relationship of Canadian English to American English dialects. He has lectured and taught in Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Hungary, New Zealand, and England, among others. Professor Chambers is retiring in 2004, and part of the reason for this conference is to celebrate and honour his scholarship.
Sandra Clarke has made numerous contributions to the study of Newfoundland Vernacular English. She is the editor of Focus on Canada (Varieties of English series, Benjamins). She has made major contributions to linguistics in Canada, including serving as President of the Canadian Linguistic Association.
Beat Glauser is the author of The Scottish-English linguistic border, and Lexical Aspects, among other books. He is a highly distinguished researcher and scholar in the sociolinguistics of English dialects.
Shana Poplack, Canada Research Chair in Linguistics at the University of Ottawa, was named Researcher of the Year in 2003 and Professor of the Year in 1999; she was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1998. She is currently the holder of a SSHRC grant entitled "An English 'Like no Other'? Language Contact and Change in Quebec."
Peter Trudgillís interest in dialects extends throughout the English-speaking world. He is author of Accent, Dialect and the School; Sociolinguistics: An Introduction to Language and Society; The Dialects of England and many other books on dialectology. He is editor of the Blackwell series "Language in Society."
Douglas Walker is a Professor of French and Linguistics at the University of Calgary. He has published widely on French phonology and morphology, Canadian French in particular. Recent work in rural francophone communities in Alberta has led him to study a situation in which Canadian English and Canadian French are in intimate contact.