Towards a Philosophy of Language Management


  • David Crystal Author



Over the past twenty years, in a number of different domains, I have been preoccupied by the relationship between content and language. Finding myself the editor of a family of general encyclopedias in the late 1980s brought an encounter with "knowledge" which had to be integrated with my professional linguistic concerns. This has since developed to include issues in document classification, search, e-commerce, and Internet security. Other directions of integration emerged in higher education, notably the need for a synergy between linguistic and cultural studies and between language and literature. And accompanying all this has been a major change in public attitudes to language, following the reaction against institutionalized linguistic prescriptivism and the evolution of a fresh understanding of the relationship between standard and nonstandard language. The varied nature of these examples suggests the need to consider the question of integration at an appropriately general level, and it is this - on analogy with established domains such as the philosophy of science or the philosophy of religion - that the title of my paper is intended to address.


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Author Biography

David Crystal

David Crystalworks from his home in Holyhead, North Wales as a writer, editor, lecturer, and broadcaster. Born in Lisburn, Northern Ireland in 1941, he spent his early years in Holyhead. His family moved to Liverpool in 1951, and he received his secondary schooling at St Mary's College. He read English at University College London (1959-62), specialized in English language studies, did some research there at the Survey of English Usage under Randolph Quirk (1962-3), then joined academic life as a lecturer in linguistics, first at Bangor, then at Reading. He published the first of his 100 or so books in 1964, and became known chiefly for his research work in English language studies, in such fields as intonation and stylistics, and in the application of linguistics to religious, educational and clinical contexts, notably in the development of a range of linguistic profiling techniques for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. He held a chair at the University of Reading for 10 years, and is now Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor. These days he divides his time between work on language and work on general reference publishing. For more information on David Crystal, please see




How to Cite

Crystal, D. (2010). Towards a Philosophy of Language Management. Latin American Journal of Content & Language Integrated Learning, 1(1), 43–53.