Personal profile


Bill Downes was educated in Canada at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario and the University of Toronto and at University College London. He taught linguistics at the London School of Economics, University of London, and at UEA from 1976 to 2003. He is currently also Adjunct Professor of English and Linguistics at Glendon College, York University, Toronto.

His most recent book is Language and Religion: A Journey into the Human Mind (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010). For more information, please follow the link.


Key Research Interests

Committed to inter-disciplinarity and believing that the ‘two cultures’ rests on a mistake, Bill uses linguistics to study culture in a way sensitive to both science and the humanities. He has developed a cognitive pragmatics of culture, most recently applied to religious language.

Teaching Interests

Bill’s teaching areas have been Linguistics and Culture and Communication, (including Mass Communication and Technology), Pragmatics, Semantics and the Philosophy of Language, Modern English, Sociolinguistics, and Language, Religion and Literature.