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National recognition

Professor emeritus celebrated for Aboriginal languages contribution

Research

By Janet Harron

Memorial University professor emeritus Dr. Marguerite MacKenzie was named the recipient of the Canadian Linguistics Association’s national achievement award at its recent annual general meeting.

Dr. MacKenzie was chosen from a distinguished set of nominations for her significant contributions to the study of Aboriginal languages in Canada, her involvement in the Canadian linguistics community and her leadership as a teacher, mentor, researcher and administrator.

“I am honoured to receive this award for the years of work with Aboriginal language speakers and fellow linguistics that have been really rewarding and lots of fun,” Dr. MacKenzie said of the award.

Dr. MacKenzie is pictured with Wladyslaw Cichocki, President of the Canadian Linguistics Association
Dr. MacKenzie is pictured with Wladyslaw Cichocki, President of the Canadian Linguistics Association
Photo: Joey Windsor

As the undisputed authority on the grammar of the East Cree-Innu-Naskapi language continuum in the Algonquian language family, Dr. MacKenzie has built a longstanding relationship with the Innu, Naskapi, and East Cree communities, beginning with the field research she conducted for her 1982 PhD thesis and for the following four decades.

Her scholarship research on the phonological, lexical and grammatical system in the Aboriginal languages has resulted in an impressive list of reference works in print and online, including two authoritative trilingual dictionaries for Innu-English-French and for East Cree-English-French, glossaries of medical and legal terminology, and several collections of stories.

She has served Memorial University as department head, program director, research, mentor of colleagues and as student advisor. She was treasurer of the Canadian Linguistics Association for five years and continues as a contributor on various Social Science Humanities Research Counsel committees. In 2013 Dr. MacKenzie received the SSHRC Impact Award in the Insight category.


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