Born in Ottawa, Dr. Embleton graduated from Lisgar Collegiate Institute, then attended the University of Toronto, from where she earned her BSc (Mathematics & Linguistics, 1975), MSc (Mathematics & Statistics, 1976), and PhD (Linguistics, 1981). Her areas of scholarly interest are historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, dialectology, mathematical/statistical methods in linguistics, onomastics, Peircean semiotics, and women and language. She has published in all these areas. Her areas of language specialization include English, German, Germanic, French, Romance, Slavic, and Finno-Ugric. She is the author of Statistics in Historical Linguistics (1986) and is editor of the Fourteenth LACUS Forum (1988) and Twenty-Fourth LACUS Forum (1998), and co-editor of Indo-European and the Indo-Europeans (1992, 1993) as well as both The Emergence of the Modern Language Sciences: Studies on the Transition from Historical-Comparative to Structural Linguistics Volume 1 Historiographical Perspectives and Volume 2 Methodological Perspectives and Applications (1999), published by John Benjamins, of Amsterdam and Philadelphia. She is associate editor of Diachronica and The Journal of Quantitative Linguistics , review editor of Word and Journal of Finnish Studies , and member of the editorial board of Onomastica Canadiana and for the book series Amsterdam Classics in Linguistics, Current Issues in Linguistic Theory, and Edinburgh Historical Linguistics monograph series . Her current research is mostly on dialectometry (statistical methods applied to dialect study), with particular application to British, Finnish and Romanian dialects.
She is an Invited Member of Suomalaisen kirjallisuuden seura [Finnish Literature Society], a Knight First Class of the Order of the White Rose of Finland, and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce ( RSA), London. She is currently President of the International Council of Onomastic Sciences, Vice-President of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, a member of the Executive of the International Linguistic Association and a member of the Centre for Research on Language Contact (CRLC). She is a former President of the American Name Society, the Canadian Society for the Study of Names, the International Quantitative Linguistics Association, the Linguistic Association of Canada and the US [ LACUS], and a former Vice-President of the Finno-Ugric Studies Association of Canada. She is a member of the Board of MITACS (Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems).
In her capacity as Vice-President Academic, Professor Embleton served as Chair of the Ontario Council of Academic Vice-Presidents (OCAV) from 2004-2008, has been on OCAV's Executive since 2001, chairs OCAV's standing committee on International issues, and represents OCAV on several Council of Ontario Universities ( COU) comittees and task forces, as well as on the Board of the Ontario Universities Application Centre (OUAC). In 2006-2007, she was chair of NATVAC, the National Vice-Presidents Academic Council.