BiographyEirian Davies’s main interests are in English linguistics and the philosophy of language. Her first degree was in English, and her doctorate was in Linguistics, both from the University of London. She has held research posts in linguistics at the University of London, first in the Sociological Research Unit under the direction of Professor Basil Bernstein at the Institute of Education, and then in the Programme in Linguistics and English Teaching under the direction of Professor Michael Halliday (who supervised her doctorate) at University College London. However, she has spent the bulk of her career in university teaching.
Her teaching has been in departments of English, first (for a year) at the University of Minnesota, under the auspices of the English Speaking Union and aided by a Fulbright Travel award, then at the University of Wales at Cardiff for five years, and subsequently at Bedford College (later part of Royal Holloway and Bedford New College) in the University of London. While at Bedford, she revived the London Linguistics Circle, which had originally been founded by her own teacher at Bedford, Mrs Vivian Salmon, and was host to early presentations by Dr Hans Kamp (who was then a member of the Philosophy department at Bedford) of the philosophical linguistics approach which later became well known as “Discourse Representation Theory”. Following the merger between Bedford and Royal Holloway Colleges, she co-founded and co-directed an MA programme in Modern English Language and Stylistics in the new joint department with Professor Kathleen Wales. She has lectured for the British Council abroad (Germany, Romania, Poland, and Japan) and given papers at Linguistics conferences in many different countries (Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Finland, Japan, Portugal, Spain). Now retired, she has continued to publish, and is currently preparing a monograph for De Gruyter in the TiLSM series: Elements of English Functional Grammar. Her earlier publications include, On the Semantics of Syntax: mood and condition in English (Croom Helm,1979), which has recently) been re-issued by Routledge, in hardback and e-book (2015) and paperback 2017.
Other interests include local history and reading newspapers for the blind; and she is currently a governor of the secondary school in the village where she lives.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
English linguistics and the philosophy of language