Keren Rice

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Keren Rice
Photo of Keren Rice
AwardsOrder of Canada
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Toronto

Keren Rice OC (born 1949) is a Canadian linguist. She specializes in research on Slavey, an indigenous language spoken in Canada’s Northwest Territories, and has long been involved in maintaining and revitalize the language.[1]

Rice earned her PhD in 1976. She is a professor of linguistics and serves as the Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Initiatives at the University of Toronto.[2] Well known for her work in both theoretical and Native American linguistics, Rice is working on a comparative grammar of Athapaskan languages that will detail the phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics as well as the lexicon of these languages. In addition, as a Canadian Research Chair, she researches markedness, contrast and complexity in phonology. On this topic she is working on a book to evaluate the diagnostics that have been proposed to determine markedness (giving special attention to frequency, implication and neutralization) and to examine phonological patterning.[3]

Rice served as president of the Canadian Linguistic Association from 1998 to 2002[4] and served as the president of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA) in 2012.[5]

Awards and distinctions[edit]

Rice was elected as a members of the American Philosophical Society in 2014.

  • From 2002 to 2008 she served on the board of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), a granting agency of the federal government of Canada.[7]
  • In 2011 she received the Killam Prize, given annually to five of Canada's finest academics for their career achievements in fields of scientific and scholastic research.[8]
  • In 2013 she won the National Achievement Award from the Canadian Linguistic Association for outstanding contributions to the field of linguistics.[9]
  • In 2013 she was appointed by the Governor General of Canada as an Officer in the Order of Canada,[10] which is one of Canada's highest civilian honors.[11]
  • In 2015 Rice received the Pierre Chauveau medal of the Royal Society of Canada, awarded for her continued contributions as a scholar, including her extensive work in language documentation, activism, and theoretical linguistics.[12][13]


1977. Hare Noun Dictionary. Ottawa: Northern Social Research Division, Department of Indian and Northern Affairs.

1989. E. Cook and K. Rice, (eds.) Athapaskan Linguistics: Current Perspectives on a Language Family. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

1989. A Grammar of Slave. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

1992. "On deriving sonority: a structural account of sonority relationships." Phonology 9: 61—99.

1993. "A reexamination of the feature [sonorant]: the status of 'sonorant obstruents'." Language 69: 308–344.

1996. "Default variability: The coronal-velar relationship." Natural Language and Linguistic Theory.

2000. Morpheme Order and Semantic Scope: Word Formation in the Athapaskan Verb. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

2006. "Ethical issues in linguistic fieldwork: An overview." Journal of Academic Ethics.


  1. ^ Richard Wright. Language lifeline. UC Observer. October 2017
  2. ^ "Office of the Vice-Provost and Provost, University of Toronto". Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  3. ^ "Canadian Research Chairs". Retrieved January 24, 2015.
  4. ^ Marianna Di Paolo and Arthur K. Spears (2014). Languages and Dialects in the U.S.: An Introduction to the Linguistics of Diversity: Focus on Diversity and Linguistics. Routledge,. p. 218.
  5. ^ "Presidents: Linguistic Society of America". Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  6. ^ "AAAS Member Central: Fellows". Archived from the original on January 25, 2015. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
  7. ^ "Keren Rice". Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  8. ^ "Canada Council awards five prominent scholars $100,000 Killam Prizes". April 19, 2011. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
  9. ^ "Prix nationaux d'excellence / National Achievement Awards". Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  10. ^ "Order of Canada Appointments". Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  11. ^ "LSA : Laurels for Linguists". Retrieved January 25, 2015.
  12. ^ September 16, 2015. Arthur Kaptainis. U of T News.
  13. ^ Laurels for Linguists. June 28, 2016.

External links[edit]