Plenary speakers


We are pleased to welcome a distinguished panel of plenary speakers to Helsinki. Below you will find the list of speakers with short biographies. Click on the titles of their talks to read their full abstracts.


  • Zhiming Bao, National University of Singapore
    • Title: Transfer is Transfer; Grammaticalization is Grammaticalization
    • Zhiming Bao is a linguist in the National University of Singapore with interests in two areas of research, phonology and contact linguistics. In contact linguistics, he argues for a system-based approach to contact-induced grammatical change, using data primarily from Singapore English. Currently, he is studying the substrate-lexifier interaction in the segmental inventories of New English, hoping to bring it to bear on the generative debate in loanword phonology.

  • Jennifer Jenkins, University of Southampton
    • Title: National English for international universities. How paradoxical!
    • Jennifer Jenkins holds the Chair of Global Englishes at the University of Southampton, UK, where she founded and directs the Centre for Global Englishes. She has been researching English as a Lingua Franca for 25 years, and has published numerous journal articles and book chapters on the subject as well as three monographs (one currently in press) and a university coursebook, World Englishes, that will be published in 3rd edition in 2014 as Global Englishes.

  • Christian Mair, University of Freiburg
    • Title: From "English as a World Language" to "Global English in a Multilingual World": Mobilising the Study of World Englishes
    • Christian Mair was Assistant and, subsequently, Associate Professor in the English Department of the University of Innsbruck, Austria, before being appointed to a Chair in English Linguistics at the University of Freiburg in Germany in 1990. He has been involved in the compilation of several linguistic corpora (among them F-LOB and Frown, updates of the classic LOB and Brown corpora designed to make possible real-time studies of change in progress, and the Jamaican component of the International Corpus of English). His research over the past two decades has focussed on the corpus-based description of modern English grammar and regional variation and ongoing change in standard Englishes world-wide and resulted in the publication of several monographs (among them, with CUP, Infinitival clauses in English: a study of syntax in discourse, 1990, and Twentieth-century English: history, variation, and standardization, 2006) and more than 60 contributions to scholarly journals and edited works. He has held guest professorships at the Universities of Massachusetts at Amherst, Santiago de Compostela and Zurich and, from 2006 to 2012, was a member of the "Wissenschaftsrat," an advisory body to the German Federal Government and state governments.

  • Rajend Mesthrie, University of Cape Town
    • Title: Morphosyntactic typology, contact and variation: South African Englishes in relation to the Mouton World Atlas of Variation in English
    • Rajend Mesthrie is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Cape Town, where he holds a National Research Foundation chair on Migration, Language and Social Change. He is a past President of the Linguistics Society of Southern Africa (2001-2009) and a past head of the Linguistics Section at UCT (1998-2009). He has published in the field of Sociolinguistics, with special reference to language contact and variation in South Africa. He is consulting editor (and past co-editor) of English Today. Amongst his publications are Language in South Africa (CUP 2002), World Englishes (with Rakesh Bhatt, CUP 2008), and A Dictionary of South African Indian English (UCT Press, 2010).

  • Barbara Seidlhofer, University of Vienna
    • Title: The ELF Connection
    • Barbara Seidlhofer is Professor of English and Applied Linguistics at the University of Vienna. Her teaching and research focus on conceptual, descriptive and applied aspects of English as a global language, on which she has published widely. She is the founding director of the Vienna-Oxford International Corpus of English (VOICE) and has been conducting research within the EU project DYLAN (Language dynamics and management of diversity) into the implications of English as a lingua franca for European multilingualism and vice versa. Her most recent book is Understanding English as a Lingua Franca (OUP 2011). She is, with Anna Mauranen, editor of the new Journal of English as a Lingua Franca (De Gruyter Mouton).

  • Donald Winford, Ohio State University
    • Title: Toward an integrated framework for the study of post-colonial Englishes
    • Donald Winford did his undergraduate degree in English at King's College, University of London and his D. Phil. (Linguistics) at the University of York, England. He is currently Professor of Linguistics at the Ohio State University. His teaching and research interests are in creole linguistics, variationist sociolinguistics, contact linguistics, and African-American English. He is the author of Predication in Caribbean English Creoles (1993) and An Introduction to Contact Linguistics (2003). He has been editor of the Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages since August 2001.


This page last updated: 11.4.2013