James Walker

Professor James Walker

  • Post Nominals: FAHA
  • Fellow Type: Fellow
  • Elected to the Academy: 2021
  • Section(s): Linguistics


James A. Walker is Professor of Language Diversity and Director of the Centre for Research in Language Diversity at La Trobe University. He is internationally recognised for his research on phonetic and grammatical variation in situations of contact, not only varieties of English (in the Caribbean, the Canadian province of Quebec and the multilingual cities of Toronto and Melbourne) but also Sango (Central African Republic), Swedish, regional Chinese and Brazilian Portuguese. He has received research grants from the US National Science Foundation and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

After receiving his BA (Honours) in Linguistics (1989) and MA in Anthropology (1991) at the University of Toronto, he worked at IBM Canada before undertaking an MA (1995) and PhD (2000) in Linguistics at the University of Ottawa. He held various positions at York University (Toronto) and was promoted to Professor in 2014. In 2017 he relocated to La Trobe University, where he was Head of the Department of Languages and Linguistics until 2020.

Professor Walker is fluent in French, German, (Brazilian) Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish and has some command of Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), Greek and Russian.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Academy of the Humanities recognises Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land, and their continuous connection to country, community and culture.