Prof David Denison FBA

Emeritus Professor

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Brief CV

After an undergraduate degree at Cambridge (Mathematics, then Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic) I did a doctorate at Oxford. For many years I was in English at Manchester (through various departmental name changes), and was HoD 1998-2001. Since 2004 I have been in Linguistics and English Language. I held a personal chair from 1995 and was Smith Professor of English Language and Medieval Literature from 2008. In 2014 I received an honorary doctorate from Uppsala University and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy. From March 2015 I am Professor Emeritus of English Linguistics, fully involved in research but no longer on the regular teaching staff at Manchester.

Visiting Positions

  • 2017 Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies, FRIAS (Visiting Researcher)
  • 2016-17 Aichi Prefectural University (Visiting Professor)
  • 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).



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Linguistic editorial work

I was for many years 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).

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  • 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 used 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 for the department and the use of concordance programs; building a "temporary" (1999-2005!) and increasingly versatile student record database for department and School; and constructing and processing TEI/XML files as part of an online edition. 
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  • I chaired the organising committees of the 10th International Conference on English Historical Linguistics (10ICEHL, 1998) and Directions in English Language Studies (DELS, April 2006). 
  • I was on the executive committee of the International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE) 2007-14 and President 2008-11. 


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

Related information


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