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  • Cited by 13
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
June 2019
Print publication year:
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Book description

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.


‘Stefan Dollinger has undertaken heroic archival sleuthing to resuscitate the coalition of amateur logophiles and English professors that succeeded in bringing Canadian English into print and, more important, into our consciousness. Through him, this small, almost forgotten band of scholars come to life with their foibles, their labours and above all their dedication.'

Jack Chambers - University of Toronto

'For this brilliantly researched book, Stefan Dollinger bravely ventured to parts of the archives other scholars had never reached. He emerged with the fascinating story of how the ‘Lennon & McCartney of Canadian English’, Walter S. Avis and Charles J. Lovell, persuaded Canada - and then the world - to recognize Canadian English as the distinctive language variety that it truly is.'

Peter Trudgill - Université de Fribourg, Switzerland

‘It is consistently seasoned with lively examples, gems of Canadianisms, explained in context and documented by references to the DCHP and other works. For anybody interested in such a perspective Dollinger’s book is a captivating read.’

Edgar W. Schneider Source: English World-Wide

‘… Creating Canadian English provides us with a highly competent and readable story, diligently researched in archives and by interviews, written by a scholar working in Canada, in nuanced Canadian English, that all audiences should find is a helpful introduction to its subject and a clear call for further community-involved efforts. I rate it highly.’

David Douglas Robertson Source: LINGUIST List

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