David Crystal (*1941)

Source of the picture:


  • Language and context

Research Interests

  • Shakespeare's language, language diversity

Notable Ideas

  • ludic linguistics (Crystal's neologism for the study of language play)
  • internet linguistics


Professor David Crystal is a linguist, academic and author. Crystal studied English at University College London between 1959 and 1962. He lectured at the University of Wales, Bangor (UWB) and the University of Reading. He is currently an honorary professor and part-time lecturer of linguistics at UWB.

Contribution to Linguistics

Crystal hypothesises that globally English will both split and converge, with local variants becoming less mutually comprehensible and therefore necessitating the rise of what he terms World Standard Spoken English (cf International English).

In his 2004 book The Stories of English, a general history of the English language, he wrote of the value he sees in linguistic diversity and the according of respect to varieties of English generally considered "non-standard".

He is the Patron of the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL).

Central Knowledge

His many academic interests include English language learning and teaching, forensic linguistics, language death, "ludic linguistics" (Crystal's neologism for the study of language play), English style, Shakespeare, indexing, and lexicography.

He is a proponent of a new field of study, Internet linguistics.

Main Publications

  • English as a Global Language

  • The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language

  • Language Death

  • Language and the Internet

  • Language Play

Categories: People