Suzanne Romaine has been Merton Professor of English Language at
the University of Oxford
since 1984. Prior to this, she was senior research scientist in
Linguistic Anthropology, at the Max-Planck-Institut-für-Psycholinguistik,
Nijmegen, Netherlands, and Lecturer in Linguistics at the University
of Birmingham, England.
She was educated at Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
(A.B. magna cum laude, 1973, German/Linguistics), University of
Edinburgh, Scotland (M.Litt. 1975, Phonetics/Linguistics), and
received her Ph.D in 1981 (Linguistics, University of Birmingham,
England). In 1998 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the
University of Tromsø in Norway, and in 1999 she was awarded
an honorary doctorate from the University of Uppsala in Sweden.
She has held a variety of scholarships and visiting fellowships
at other universities, including the Rotary International Foundation
fellowship (University of Edinburgh) and the Canada Commonwealth
Scholarship (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of
Toronto). In 1991-1992 she was Kerstin Hesselgren Professor at the
University of Uppsala. This award for outstanding women in the
Humanities is sponsored by the Swedish Research Council for the
Humanities and Social Sciences. In 2004-2005 she was the Royden B. Davis Chair in Interdisciplinary Studies at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and in 2005-2006 she was a resident fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences in Stanford, California.
Her research interests lie primarily in historical linguistics
and sociolinguistics, especially in problems of societal multilingualism,
linguistic diversity, language change, language acquisition, and
language contact in the broadest sense. Other areas of interest include
corpus linguistics, language and gender, literacy, and bilingual/immersion
education. She has conducted extensive fieldwork in Europe (first on the
language of working class schoolchildren in Scotland and subsequently
on patterns of bilingualism and language loss among Panjabi speakers in
England) as well as in the Pacific Islands region (first in Papua New
Guinea on the language of rural and urban schoolchildren, and most
recently in Hawai'i).
She was a member of the UNESCO Expert Group that produced UNESCO's position paper on Education in a Multilingual World. (Paris:UNESCO, 2003). She also authored a backgrounder paper on Languages and
Cultural Identities for Investing in Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue. (Paris:UNESCO, 2009)
See also the entries in: Encyclopedia of Bilingualism and Bilingual Education (edited by Colin Baker & Sylvia Prys Jones.
Multilingual Matters. 1998, p. 149). Concise Encyclopedia of Sociolinguistics (edited by Rajend Mesthrie. Elsevier. 2001, p. 905). Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (edited by Keith Brown. Elsevier. 2006, p. 561). The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics (edited by Carol A. Chapelle. Blackwell Publishing, Ltd. 2013).