Latest Publication (NLI monograph)

We are destined to rewrite ourselves! This is one of the consequences of nonrepresentational linguistic idealism (NLI), a metaphysical position which puts the mind at the centre of reality and language at the centre of the mind. The monograph here outlines this position in a series of chapters dealing with thought, mind, consciousness, phenomenality, nonrepresentationality and sentience.  Language lights up the mind for us and gives us a view of the universe from the inside. It is the homunculus. It is our DNA.

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Featured Book

Ever thought there might be something missing from our understanding of the universe? What if language was that something, a fifth dimension in the fabric of the universe which unfolds itself whenever we think, speak or write? In this book, Michael Cribb takes the reader through a defence of nonrepresentational linguistic idealism and concludes with the notion that language is the DNA of the mind.

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Research Methods for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students

So you’re a student at university looking to do research and write a dissertation (thesis)? This book is for you. It’s an essential guide to the research process covering all stages from planning to doing to writing up and proofing.

The book also has a unique section on publishing your dissertation for those who wish to push their academic career along. Unlike other books, it does not assume that you have infinite time and resources to conduct your research. It recognises that at this level you probably have six months or less to finish the dissertation and gives practical advice on which studies are feasible and which are not.

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to be someone in a language

A photo essay of non-representational linguistic idealism by Michael Cribb. Fifty three sumptuous spreads in full colour narrated and interpreted through inspirational quotes. The book builds on Hannah Arendt’s lamentation that we live in a language, not with a language. Language is the DNA of the mind and in language we experience our existence.

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Slips of the Tongue from the Linguistic Graveyard
One shit, two c*nts and a Brexit breakfast!

A collection of intriguing, and occasionally shocking, speech bloopers by some of the best known speakers.

Of the 125 trillion words spoken around the world every day, approximately two in a thousand are uttered in error. That works out at 250 billion words a day! Most of these slips of the tongue are quickly repaired and retired to the linguistic graveyard unnoticed. A few may catch our attention and make us chuckle – if the speaker is some well-known personality, politician or presenter, they may even make the headlines.

This book dissects some of these linguistic slips to see what they can tell us about the speech planning processes that produced them and the persons that uttered them. The book is not designed to mock these people, however, but to celebrate them, and to thank them for the little nugget of linguistic creativity they have donated to the graveyard.

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Hesitation, Equivocation and Pausing

Every day we are bombarded with political rhetoric in the form of interviews, debates and statements from our political leaders and commentators, on the television, radio and internet. Underlying this rhetoric is the micro-world of spoken discourse that we rarely get to see or explore. This micro-world consists of politicians and commentators hesitating, equivocating, pausing, and using all their rhetorical nounce to get their message across while presenting themselves in the best light and avoiding saying anything that might damage their face.

Read more about this book here.

Discourse and the Non-native English Speaker

English is now firmly established as an international language around the globe and as such is no longer the preserve of the native speaker and the inner circle of counties. It is estimated that there are three times as many non-native speakers of English as there are native speakers worldwide and that the majority of speech events conducted in English are solely between non-native speakers of the language. The increased use of the English language on a daily basis by non-native speakers is thus worthy of a study and the purpose of this book. For the non-native speaker, the day-to-day demands of casual conversation can often be met through collaboration and negotiation with their interlocutor. However, there is an ever-increasing need for the non-native to participate in specific speech events such as discussions, meetings, interviews, and presentations, where the construction and delivery of extended turns and monologues is paramount. This is particularly true in professional and academic environments where this type of discourse holds significance and value for the speaker, since it is often through this that their proficiency and professionalism is critiqued and measured.

Selected publications


As well at lecturing at Coventry University, I conduct research in the fields of Applied Linguistics, English Language Teaching and Second Language Acquisition. I’ve been conducting research most of my working life having started out as a research officer in the steel industry, often climbing in and out of of blast furnaces on Teesside and in South Wales. Those days are long gone now after taking the plunge into Language Teaching in 1990 in South Korea and subsequently Applied Linguistics through my PhD. Of course my current research cannot beat jumping in and out of blast furnaces but then someone has to do the dirty work!

My current research areas include:

Political Discourse

The microanalysis of discourse in institutionalised settings particularly political contexts with special reference to the House of Commons in the UK. The key principle of microanalysis is that through small observations great findings emerge. Use the category link ‘political discourse’ on the main menu to find research related to this field or visit my external blog neutralfooting

Academic Monologue

This research looks at the linguistic analysis of spoken monologues, typically oral presentations made by non-native speakers of English. The challenge of monologues, compared with dialogues, is that the speaker has to package the speech in a more structured and coherent way since the collaboration and negotiation with the interlocutor is largely removed. For many non-native speakers (students of English) this is a massive challenge. I’m particularly interested in how speakers can use suprasegmental features to structure and segment their monologues. Search for ‘phonology’ and ‘oral presentations’ from the categories link above or visit my external website erHelloEveryone

Language and the Mind

I also write and post on the relationship between language and the mind in the defence of nonrepresentational linguistic idealism. How does language construct the way we think and the reality we perceive? Is language the DNA of the mind? Are we language? What does it mean to ‘be someone in a language’ (which is the title of this website)? For posts on this topic, search the categories for ‘psycholinguistics’ or visit the website Its Language Stupid


I also research areas that relate to my teaching such as grammar, phonology, dissertation writing, coherence in NNS.

Header image: the FACING DEATH by RANT 73 /Public domain