Skip Content

Professor David Crystal FBA


About this Fellow

David Crystal is honorary professor of linguistics at the University of Bangor, and works from his home in Holyhead, North Wales as a writer, editor, lecturer, and broadcaster in language and linguistics, with particular reference to the English language. Born in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, in 1941, he spent his early childhood in Holyhead, attended secondary school in Liverpool, and read English at University College London. After a research year at UCL's Survey of English Usage, he lectured at Bangor and then joined the new department of linguistics at Reading in 1965, where a decade later he became professor of linguistic science. He left the full-time university world in 1984 to work as an independent scholar. His writing takes in most areas of language study, his best-known authored books including The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language and The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. His editorial work has included acting as general editor of the Cambridge and Penguin families of general encyclopedias, and the online edition of the entire oeuvre of the missionary poet John Bradburne. An autobiographical memoir, Just a Phrase I'm Going Through, was published in 2009. He received an OBE for services to the English language in 1995.



Current post

  • Honorary Professor of Linguistics, University of Bangor

Past Appointments

  • Professor of Linguistic Science, University of Reading, 1975 - 1985
  • Honorary Professor of Linguistics, University of Bangor, 1985
  • Honorary Professor of Linguistics, University of Bangor, University of Bangor, 1985


The Oxford Dictionary of Original Shakespearean Pronunciation 2016

The Stories of English 2004

Just a Phrase I'm Going Through 2009

Clinical linguistics 1981

The Cambridge encyclopedia of language 1987

The Cambridge encyclopedia of the English language 1997

Other Linguistics and Philology Fellows

Professor Almut Hintze

The languages, religions and history of pre-Islamic Iran and Central Asia with special attention to Zoroastrianism; Ancient and Middle Iranian philology and linguistics

Professor Janet Dean Fodor

Theoretical and experimental psycholinguistics; multi-language studies of psychological mechanisms for decoding the structure and meaning of sentences; modelling the process of grammar acquisition by children

Professor David Denison

History of English, especially syntax, including current change; modelling syntactic change; word classes and word class boundaries, gradience in syntax; corpus construction and problems of tagging

Professor Eleanor Dickey

Greek and Latin languages and literature; ancient scholarship; ancient bilingualism and second-language learning; politeness and forms of address in Latin and Greek; sociolinguistics of ancient languages

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.