And the first plenary speaker of 2014 is…

As 2013 draws to a close, with a turkey in the freezer and mince pies in the oven, you may well feel that your appetite can’t take any more whetting – but we’re hoping to dispel that feeling by announcing the first plenary speaker of BritGrad 2014. If you have a hunger for linguistics, Shakespearean coinages, or hearing the plays as they were originally spoken, then our guest’s identity might already be crystal clear. If not…

Professor David Crystal OBE is the author of over 100 books, including Shakespeare’s Words (2002), The Shakespeare Miscellany (2005), and Think On My Words (2008), an introduction to Shakespeare’s language. A linguistics expert, he has held chairs at the University of Reading and the University of Wales (Bangor), and was commissioned to write The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language (1997) for Cambridge University Press. In 2003-4 he was Sam Wanamaker Fellow at Shakespeare’s Globe, and has since contributed regular articles to Around the Globe magazine.

David and Hilary Crystal
David and Hilary Crystal

We are honoured to have Professor Crystal opening the 2014 conference, at 9.25am on Thursday June 5th. Accompanied by his wife and business partner Hilary Crystal, a former speech therapist and co-author of Wordsmiths and Warriors: the English language tourist’s guide to Britain (2013), he will be presenting a talk-performance entitled ‘The original pronunciation (OP) movement: the first ten years.’ Original Pronunciation aims to offer a linguistic reconstruction of the phonetic properties of Shakespeare’s English.

How did that sound, we hear you ask (in your own presumably non-Early Modern English accents)? If you can’t wait for June to find out, you can listen to a sample below.

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