We were delighted to discover in the New Year’s Honours list that Professor Emerita Janet Holmes had been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to linguistics.
Anyone familiar with Janet’s career will know how well-deserved this honour is. Through her research and teaching she has been influential in establishing linguistics as a discipline here at Victoria – and in NZ – and has long been actively engaged in disseminating the findings of linguistic research (including posts on this website).
She has initiated a number of innovative projects. As examples, she was Director of the project which produced the Wellington Corpus of Spoken New Zealand English; in the early 1990s, with Allan Bell and Mary Boyce, she conducted a social dialect survey in the Wellington area; and until recently was Director of the Wellington Language in the Workplace project, an ongoing study of communication in the workplace which has described humour, management strategies, directives, and leadership in a wide range of New Zealand workplaces.
Janet is internationally recognised as one of the world’s leading sociolinguists. As examples of this recognition, she held the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship at the Bellagio Study and Conference Center, Italy, in 2004; was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Uppsala University in 2010, and since 2011 has been an Honorary Professor at the University of Warwick. Nationally she has also been recognised as one of the country’s leading scholars in the humanities and social sciences. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 1994, and in 2012 was awarded the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Dame Joan Metge medal.
We are delighted that she has been recognised again in the New Year’s Honours.