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Prof David Denison - personal details

Contact details

Role: Smith Professor of English Language & Medieval Literature




Brief CV

DD 2013After an undergraduate degree at Cambridge (Mathematics, then Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic) I did a doctorate at Oxford. I have been at Manchester for a long time, with a personal chair since 1995, and the Smith chair from 2008. In 2014 I received an honorary doctorate from Uppsala University and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy.

Visiting Positions

  • 2011-12 PhD Program in Linguistics in the University of Zurich (Kurzzeitdozent)
  • 2006 Institut du Monde anglophone, Paris 3, Sorbonne Nouvelle (Visiting Professor, and associate member of Groupe de Recherches en Linguistique Anglaise SESYLIA).
  • 1998 Dpto. Filoloxía Inglesa e Alemana, University of Santiago de Compostela (Visiting Professor).
  • 1992 Department of English, University of British Columbia (Visiting Professor).
  • 1985-86 Engels Seminarium, University of Amsterdam (Gastdocent).



ELL coverEditorial work

I was heavily involved in editing, particularly for many years as an editor of English Language and Linguistics, which has become one of the leading journals in its field. It subsequently entered into a close relationship with the International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE).

  • 1995-2010 Founding editor (with Bas Aarts and †Richard Hogg) of English Language and Linguistics.
  • Hoggschrift cover2012 Editor (with Ricardo Bermúdez-Otero, Chris McCully & Emma Moore) of Analysing Older English, a collection of essays for the late Professor Richard Hogg. 
  • 1996-2004 General editor (with †R. H. Robins and Geoffrey Horrocks) of Longman Linguistics Library.
  • 1997 Guest editor (with Nigel Vincent) of a special issue of Transactions of the Philological Society.

Miscellaneous activities

  • I was one of a three-man team from the LAGB who advised the then Department for Education and Employment on materials for the literacy strategy in primary schools, notably the enhanced glossary. I retain an interest in the teaching of English language at school level, contributing to the LAGB's recommendations for grammatical terminology to be use in schools.
  • Computing work has included helping with the multi-lingual Vuwriter Arts word processor in the 1980s; my own numbering program NUM in the 1990s; the acquisition of texts and corpora and the use of concordance programs (see Online and lab resources for linguists); and building a "temporary" (1999-2005!) and increasingly versatile student record database for department and School.
  • DELS logoI chaired the organising committees of the 10th International Conference on English Historical Linguistics (10ICEHL, 1998) and Directions in English Language Studies (DELS, April 2006).
  • ISLE logoI was on the executive committee of the International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE) 2007-14 and President 2008-11.

Many of my papers are available from this page, wherever possible via eScholar, Manchester's institutional repository.

Non-academic link: Saddleworth Beer Walk.