About this Fellow
Deirdre Wilson is Emeritus Professor of Linguistics at University College London and a Research Professor of Philosophy and co-director (with Herman Cappelen) of the Linguistic Agency project at the Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature, University of Oslo. Her main research interests are in communication and theoretical pragmatics: her long-standing collaboration with Dan Sperber (Relevance: Communication and Cognition, Blackwell, 1986/95; Meaning and Relevance, Cambridge University Press, 2012) has led to publications on a wide variety of pragmatic topics, from disambiguation and reference resolution to rhetoric, style and the interpretation of literary works. Her novel Slave of the Passions (Picador, 1991) was shortlisted for two prizes and she has just completed a second.
- Professor of Linguistics, University College London
- Lecturer, Reader, Professor of Linguistics, University College London, 1970
Cognition, communication and culture in an evolutionary perspective; anthropological fieldwork in Ethiopia, theoretical and experimental work in linguistic pragmatics and in cognitive psychology
Historical linguistics; semantic change, cognitive and interactional pragmatics; theories of grammaticalisation and construction grammar
Phonology, morphology, historical linguistics, metrics, and the Sanskrit grammatical tradition. The relation between word structure and sentence structure, and the principles governing language change.
Sociolinguistics; language change in multilingual urban centres, adolescent language, language & education, syntactic & discourse variation, syntax of spoken English.