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Shana Poplack - University of Ottawa. Ottawa, ON, CA

Shana Poplack Shana Poplack

Distinguished University Professor and Canada Research Chair (I) in Linguistics | University of Ottawa

Ottawa, ON, CANADA

Sociolinguist specializing in vernacular speech, with a focus on bilingual and minority contexts

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Shana Poplack - SSHRC 2012 Gold Medal for Achievement in Research Big Thinking on the road: Shana Poplack - The ideology of

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Biography

Shana Poplack is Distinguished University Professor and Canada Research Chair in Linguistics and director of the Sociolinguistics Laboratory at the University of Ottawa. Her work applies theoretical and methodological insights gained from the study of linguistic variation and change to a variety of fields, including bilingual language mixing, language contact and grammatical convergence, the genesis of African American Vernacular English, normative prescription and praxis, and the role of the school in impeding linguistic change.

Industry Expertise (2)

Education/Learning Research

Areas of Expertise (13)

Language Variation Language change Quebec English English in Canada Bilingualism Sociolinguistics Language Linguistics Language Contact French in Canada African American Vernacular English Language Prescription Language Ideology

Accomplishments (17)

Member, Order of Canada (professional)

2014-06-30

Governor General of Canada

Canada Research Chair in Linguistics (Tier 1) (professional)

2015-07-01

Government of Canada

Canada Research Chair in Linguistics (Tier 1) (professional)

2008-07-01

Government of Canada

Canada Research Chair in Linguistics (Tier 1) (professional)

2001-07-01

Government of Canada

Gold Medal for Achievement in Research (professional)

2012-11-01

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

National Achievement Award (professional)

2011-05-01

Canadian Linguistics Association

Premier's Discovery Award (professional)

2008-04-30

Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation

Trudeau Fellowship Award (professional)

2007-05-07

Trudeau Foundation

Killam Prize (professional)

2007-03-27

Canada Council for the Arts

Pierre Chauveau Medal (professional)

2005-05-16

Royal Society of Canada

Award for Excellence in Research (professional)

2003-02-01

University of Ottawa

Ontario Distinguished Researcher Award (professional)

2002-01-01

Ontario Innovation Trust

Distinguished University Professor (professional)

2002-01-01

University of Ottawa

Killam Research Fellowship (professional)

2001-05-01

Canada Council for the Arts

Professor of the Year (professional)

1999-04-01

Faculty of Arts, University of Ottawa

Fellow (professional)

1998-09-01

Royal Society of Canada

Fulbright Visiting Scholar Award (professional)

Pontificia Universidade Catolica de Sao Paulo (1990)

Education (3)

University of Pennsylvania: Ph.D., Linguistics 1979

New York University: M.A, Linguistics and French Literature 1971

Queens College, City University of New York (CUNY): B.A, Romance Languages 1968

Affiliations (6)

  • Member - Order of Canada (2014)
  • Fellow - Royal Society of Canada (1998)
  • Fellow - Linguistic Society of America (2009)
  • Distinguished University Professor - University of Ottawa (2002)
  • Canada Research Chair in Linguistics (2001-present)
  • Director, Sociolinguistics Laboratory, University of Ottawa (1982-present)

Languages (4)

  • English
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Portuguese

Media Appearances (32)

Analysis: We’ve read all President Trump’s tweets, so you don’t have to.

CTVNews.ca  online

2017-04-28

Since Donald Trump became the 45th president of the United States, he has continued his prolific and bold use of Twitter that has long been his signature style. His tweets garner worldwide headlines, rock stock markets and send diplomats scrambling. CTVNews.ca asked five experts: a political strategist, a social media consultant, a developmental scientist, a media studies professor, and a linguist to weigh in on Trump’s extraordinary use of the 140-character message service during his first 100 days.

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Peu de différences grammaticales entre l’Outaouais et le reste du Québec

Info07.com  online

2016-03-22

Au-delà de ce qui est visible et contrairement à la croyance populaire, le squelette de la langue française ne connaît que très peu de variations d’un territoire à l’autre.

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«Je ne pense pas que c’est l’anglais qui est responsable des malheurs» - Natalia Dankova

Info07.com  online

2016-03-22

La présence de l’anglais à proximité ne suffit pas à l’ignorance. C’est du moins ce qu’affirme la docteure en sciences du langage et professeure à l’Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO), Natalia Dankova.

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Is Multilingual Rap Eroding Canada’s French Language?

Nautilus  online

2016-05-03

Recently a Quebec arts foundation required the Francophone rap group Dead Obies to give back an $18,000 grant they’d been awarded to record their newest album. The problem? A word count determined that the group had stirred too much English into their distinctive multilingual lyrics, falling short of the rule that 70 percent of the content be in French.

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What Francophones hear when the party leaders speak French

National Post  online

2015-10-03

The Moment. In this daily feature until Election Day, the National Post captures a telling moment in time from the 2015 campaign trail.

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Mistakes or variations? Exploring spoken language at Royal Society Conference

Chronicle-Telegraph  print

2014-12-10

N/A

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Montreal English has a true je ne sais quoi

Montreal Gazette  online

2013-02-15

Entangled with the language of Molière and Mordecai, of Michel Tremblay and the McGarrigles, avec passion and verve, ours is a singular mélange of ancient French and modern geek, of contemporary Québécois and the pervasive English of globalization.

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Juggling languages as a challenge for Canadian families keen on preserving heritage

The Canadian Press  online

2012-10-24

The first few decades of Naomi Sutorius-Lavoie's life played out in a jumble of French, English and Dutch, her three languages a daily soundtrack in the Ottawa home where she grew up.

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Montreal English: Borrowings, but not a dialect

Montreal Gazette  online

2012-06-27

Maybe Quebec anglos just think we’re distinct.

A funny thing happened when Shana Poplack decided to count the number of French words native English-speakers in Montreal and Quebec City used in ordinary conversations about their lives in la belle province.

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Activists want world to stop using the "R" word: Campaign deems term offensive and derogatory

The Ottawa Citizen  print

2011-05-26

N/A

Mark their words, eh?

Globe & Mail  print

2005-01-29

Our yods are toast. Our "eh?" is disappearing from adolescent speech. Young women are showing signs of abandoning our prized raised diphthongs. But gotchies -- or gonchies, west of the Alberta-Saskatchewan border -- is a vibrant all-Canadian word for underpants.

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The power and beauty of Franglais

The Ottawa Citizen  print

2003-09-01

N/A

Canadian French really hasn’t changed over the past century

The Ottawa Sun  print

2002-05-01

N/A

La langue de chez nous a perduré

Au fil des événements 35.7 (Université Laval)  print

2002-10-01

N/A

Symposium explores N.M. language patterns

The Sante Fe New Mexican  print

2001-05-02

N/A

El inglés samanense en el vórtice del debate criollista

El Siglo, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic  print

2001-12-16

N/A

Shana Poplack

El Siglo, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic  print

2000-09-30

N/A

Talking that talk

The Halifax Daily News  print

2000-01-30

N/A

A dialect all our own

The Montreal Gazette  print

1999-06-03

N/A

Cracking the Code

The Ottawa Citizen  print

1999-05-23

N/A

À propos du français “normal et enrichissant”

Le Droit, Hull  print

1999-02-05

N/A

La langue, reflet de ce que nous sommes,

Le Droit, Hull  print

1999-01-27

N/A

Le “franglais” serait un enrichissement

Le Droit, Hull  print

1999-01-20

N/A

Prix Coco à Mme Poplack et au calendrier des Communes

Le Droit, Hull  print

1999-01-01

N/A

Speaking in tongues – three at a time

The Montreal Gazette  print

1998-09-12

N/A

Le franglais ne menace pas la langue française, soutient une linguiste

L’Express, Toronto  print

1998-06-30

N/A

Researchers, academics honoured by peers

The Globe & Mail  print

1998-07-02

N/A

Four U of O academics honoured for contributions

The Ottawa Citizen  print

1998-06-22

N/A

“Franglais” no threat to French, study says

The Ottawa Citizen  print

1998-06-18

N/A

Franglais: Huge stack of synonyms

The Ottawa Citizen  print

1998-06-18

N/A

Quebec hip-hops to multilingual lyrics

The Toronto Star  print

1998-04-13

N/A

Triumphantly Trilingual

The Montreal Gazette  print

1997-09-22

N/A

Event Appearances (14)

Telling tales out of school: prescriptive dictates meet community norms in vernacular entrenchment and spread.

Schultink lecture in honour of Henk Schultink (June, 2017)  Universiteit Leiden (Netherlands)

Contact-induced change in the wild: Using linguistic variation to detect, analyze and distinguish it from internal evolution.

Wellsprings Forum Dialogue (February, 2017)  Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

Big languages in small communities: a variationist sociolinguistic approach to language contact and change.

Wellsprings Forum Dialogue (February, 2017)  Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

A variationist approach to language contact phenomena.

Invited Master class (February, 2017)  University of Queensland, Australia

Form-function (a)symmetry and the pursuit of categoricity.

Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (CoEDL) Fest. (February, 2017)  University of Queensland, Australia

L'anglicisme à domicile: Un portrait (socio)linguistique.

Colloque du réseau des organismes francophones de politique et d’aménagement linguistiques (OPALE). Les anglicismes : des emprunts à intérêt variable? (October, 2016)  Office Québécois de la langue française, Quebec City

Reporting on reported speech: Transmission and diffusion in the Quebec English quotative system.

Discourse Pragmatic Variation and Change (DiPVaC) 3. (May, 2016)  University of Ottawa

Prescription, description and praxis.

Workshop on the effects of prescriptivism in language history (January, 2016)  Centre for Linguistics, Universiteit Leiden, Netherlands

The sharp divide between single- and multi-word code-mixing: Evidence from the ground.

(November, 2015)  Potsdam Research Institute for Multilingualism (PRIM), University of Potsdam, Germany

Confronting theory with fact: Language mixing on the ground.

Bilingual Workshop in Theoretical Linguistics (BWTL) 18 / Linguistics Talks at Western speaker series. (November, 2015)  University of Western Ontario

Normes en conflit: L’école, la communauté et l’idéologie normative.

Colloque international VocUM 2. (November 2015)  Université de Montréal.

Pursuing symmetry by eradicating variability.

New Ways of Analyzing Variation (NWAV) 44. (October 2015)  University of Toronto

Le trajet sociolinguistique des emprunts.

Colloque étudiantin annuel de la Société des études supérieures de français. (April 2015)  University of Toronto

Shana Poplack traces the evolution of speech.

Joint NSERC and SSHRC Lunch-and-Learn lecture. (January 2015)  Ottawa

Research Grants (22)

The evolving grammar of French in Canada: The competing roles of school, community and ideology.

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada 

2017-2022

Canada Research Chair in Linguistics

Government of Canada 

2015-2022

Language contact and change in Canada's official languages

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada 

2012-2017

Gold Medal for Achievement in Research

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada 

2012

Canada Research Chair in Linguistics

Government of Canada 

2008-2015

Premier’s Discovery Award

Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation 

2008

Official languages research and dissemination program: Assessing the linguistic outcomes of language contact in Quebec English

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada 

2007-2008

Norms and variation in French: the competing roles of school, community and ideology. (with Johanne Bourdages)

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada 

2005-2008

An English “Like No Other”?: Language Contact and Change in Quebec

2002-2005 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada 

2002-2005

Canada Research Chair in Linguistics

Government of Canada 

2001-2008

Database Creation and Preservation for the Sociolinguistics Laboratory at the University of Ottawa

Ontario Innovation Trust 

2001

Database Creation and Preservation for the Sociolinguistics Laboratory at the University of Ottawa

Canadian Foundation for Innovation 

2001

Prescription and Praxis in the Evolution of French Grammar

Killam Foundation, Canada Council 

2001-2002

Variation, Prescription and Praxis: Contact and Evolution of Grammatical Systems

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada 

1999-2002

From Synchrony to Diachrony in the Evolution of African American Vernacular English. (with Sali Tagliamonte)

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada 

1995-1998

Contextualizing Language Contact: A Cross-linguistic Study of Variation and Change

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada 

1993-1995

Sociolinguistic Analysis of Black English in Canada: A Historical and Comparative Study

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada 

1990-1993

Black English in Canada: Reconstructing Diachrony from Synchronic Evidence

Institute of Social and Economic Research, Memorial University of Newfoundland 

1990

Sociolinguistic Aspects of Language Contact in the Ottawa-Hull Region

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada 

1988-1991

Sociolinguistic Aspects of Language Contact in the Ottawa-Hull Region

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada 

1986-1988

Sociolinguistic Aspects of Language Contact in the Ottawa-Hull Region

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada 

1984-1986

Monolingual and Bilingual Speech Modes Among Francophones in the Ottawa-Hull Region

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada 

1983-1984

Articles (21)

Borrowing: Loanwords in the speech community and in the grammar Oxford University Press

Shana Poplack

2017-07-18

Studies of bilingual behavior have been proliferating for decades, yet short shrift has been given to its major manifestation, the incorporation of words from one language into the discourse of another.

This volume redresses that imbalance by going straight to the source: bilingual speakers in their social context. Building on more than three decades of original research based on vast quantities of spontaneous performance data and a highly ramified analytical apparatus, Shana Poplack characterizes the phenomenon of lexical borrowing in the speech community and in the grammar, both synchronically and diachronically.

In contrast to most other treatments, which deal with the product of borrowing (if they consider it at all), this book examines the process: how speakers go about incorporating foreign items into their bilingual discourse; how they adapt them to recipient-language grammatical structure; how these forms diffuse across speakers and communities; how long they persist in real time; and whether they change over the duration. Attacking some of the most contentious issue in language mixing research empirically, it tests hypotheses about established loanwords, nonce borrowings and code-switches on a wealth of unique datasets on typologically similar and distinct language pairs. A major focus is the detailed analysis of integration: the principal mechanism underlying the borrowing process. Though the shape the borrowed form assumes may be colored by community convention, Poplack shows that the act of transforming donor-language elements into native material is universal.

Emphasis on actual speaker behavior coupled with strong standards of proof, including data-driven reports of rates of occurrence, conditioning of variant choice and measures of statistical significance, make Borrowing an indispensable reference on language contact and bilingual behavior.

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Categories of grammar and categories of speech: When the quest for symmetry meets inherent variability In Shin, Naomi & Erker, Danny (eds.), First names – How theoretical primitives shape the search for linguistic structure (Papers in honor of Ricardo Otheguy). John Benjamins.

Shana Poplack

To appear

L’anglicisme chez nous : une perspective sociolinguistique. In Actes du colloque du réseau des organismes francophones de politique et d’aménagement linguistiques (OPALE). Les anglicismes : des emprunts à intérêt variable?, Québec, octobre 2016. Publications de l’Office québécois de la langue française.

Shana Poplack

To appear

Variation and grammaticalization in Romance: A cross-linguistic study of the subjunctive. In Ayres-Bennett, Wendy & Carruthers, Janice (eds.), Manuals in Linguistics: Romance Sociolinguistics. de Gruyter.

Poplack, Shana, Torres Cacoullos, Rena, Dion, Nathalie, Berlinck, Rosane de Andrade, Digesto, Salvatore, Lacasse, Dora & Steuck, Jonathan.

In press

Code-switching (Linguistic). International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. 2nd edition. Elsevier Science Ltd. 918-925.

Shana Poplack

2015

Norme prescriptive, norme communautaire et variation diaphasique. In Kragh, Kirsten & Lindschouw, Jan (eds.), Variations diasystématiques et leurs interdépendances. Série TraLiLo, Strasbourg: Société de linguistique romane. 293-319.

Shana Poplack

2015

A variationist paradigm for linguistic emergence. In MacWhinney, Brian & O’Grady, William (eds.), The Handbook of Language Emergence. Wiley-Blackwell. 267-291.

Poplack, Shana & Torres Cacoullos, Rena.

2015

Variabilité et changement dans les grammaires en contact. In Martineau, France & Nadasdi, Terry (eds.), Le français en contact: hommages à Raymond Mougeon, collection « Les Voies du français ». Québec: Presses de l’Université Laval. 247-280.

Poplack, Shana & Levey, Stephen.

2011

Grammaticalization and linguistic variation. In Heine, Bernd & Narrog, Heiko (eds.), Handbook of Grammaticalization. Oxford. 209-224.

Shana Poplack

2011

African American English in Nova Scotia. In Gold, Elaine & McAlpine, Janice (eds.), Canadian English: A Linguistic Reader. Kingston: Strathy Language Unit, Queen’s University. 146-154.

Poplack, Shana & Tagliamonte, Sali

2010

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Contact-induced grammatical change. In Auer, Peter & Schmidt, Jürgen Erich (eds.), Language and Space – An international handbook of linguistic variation: Volume 1 – Theories and methods. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 391-419.

Poplack, Shana & Levey, Stephen.

2010

Quelle langue parlons-nous? ? Les Cahiers de la Fondation Trudeau. Montréal: Fondation Trudeau: 125-147.

Shana Poplack

2009

Searching for “Standard French”: The construction and mining of the Recueil historique des grammaires du français. Journal of Historical Sociolinguistics 1, 1. 13-56.

Poplack, Shana, Jarmasz, Lidia-Gabriela, Dion, Nathalie & Rosen, Nicole.

2015

Foreword to Poplack, Shana “Sometimes I’ll start a sentence in Spanish y termino en español”: toward a typology of code-switching (1980). Linguistics 51 (Special Jubilee anniversary issue). 11-14.

Shana Poplack

2013

The evolving grammar of the French subjunctive. Probus 25, 1 (Special 25th anniversary issue). 139-195.

Poplack, Shana, Lealess, Allison & Dion, Nathalie.

2013

Myths and facts about loanword development. Language Variation and Change 24, 3. 279-315.

Poplack, Shana & Dion, Nathalie

2012

What counts as (contact-induced) change. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 15, 2. 247-254.

Poplack, Shana, Zentz, Lauren & Dion, Nathalie.

2012

Phrase-final prepositions in Quebec French: An empirical study of contact, code-switching and resistance to convergence. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 15, 2. 203-225.

Poplack, Shana, Zentz, Lauren & Dion, Nathalie.

2012

What does the Nonce Borrowing Hypothesis hypothesize? Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 15, 3. 644-648.

Shana Poplack

2012

Les Récits du français québécois d’autrefois: reflet du parler vernaculaire du XIXe siècle. Revue canadienne de linguistique/Canadian Journal of Linguistics 54, 3. 511-546.

Poplack, Shana & St-Amand, Anne

2009

Prescription vs praxis: The evolution of future temporal reference in French. Language 85, 3. 557-587.

Poplack, Shana & Dion, Nathalie

2009

Contact