Each year, the Canadian Linguistic Association, a national association of linguists, presents the National Achievement Awards to individuals who have made outstanding contributions through their research and have helped earned distinction for the Canadian linguistic community.
France Martineau is a Distinguished University Professor in the French literature department at the University of Ottawa, holds the Frontières, réseaux et contacts en Amérique française chair, is director of the Polyphonies du français lab and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Her pioneering research on the evolution of North American French over the past 400 years, her leadership in the field of linguistics and her innovative approach of interdisciplinary dialogue have earned her this prestigious award. In addition, all the corpora she has developed and that document French back to the Middle Ages (the Paths of French, Polyphonies and Continent) are now available online. “For me , there is no struggle between research and teaching. They both transfer knowledge…. I’m extremely passionate about what I do and I believe that it’s this passion that give us the desire to share our research with others,” she says.
Her strong leadership has been responsible for a number of her major accomplishments, including receiving two major research grants through the SSHRC’s Major Collaborative Research Initiatives, founding the Les Français d’ici international conference (held every other year in a Canadian city), creating two virtual exhibitions and online education resources as well as editing the Voies du français collection, which publishes research on the French language in North America. Professor Martineau says the secret to her success lies with those who have worked with her along the way. “I’m very honoured to receive this award and feel that it belongs also to all the individuals who have been behind me in my desire and efforts to promote the French language and to see it flourish and grow,” she says. “Language is at the heart of our identity, allowing us to expand our horizons and connect with others.”
France Martineau received one of the two awards presented this year, along with Gary Libben of Brock University.