Professor of French Philology and Linguistics, Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, University of Cambridge
Wendy Ayres-Bennett is Professor of French Philology and Linguistics in the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics at the University of Cambridge. Her major research interests include questions of linguistic ideology and language policy, the standardisation and codification of languages, and how and why languages vary and change. She specialises in the history of the French language and the history of linguistic thought, including the development of language policy.
Wendy is currently the Principal Investigator on the MEITS project (Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals, Transforming Societies), which aims to promote modern languages in the UK. This multidisciplinary project is investigating different aspects of multilingualism, from its impact on personal identity and social cohesion, through to how we acquire language skills, and how multilingualism affects health and well-being.
Wendy has held Visiting Professorships in France and the USA, including in Paris, Lyon and Berkeley. She was President of the Society for French Studies and is currently President of the Philological Society. She has published very widely on the development of the French language, linguistic standardisation and prescriptivism.