David Britain studied Linguistics, French and German at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England (1983-87), before beginning a UK Economic and Social Research Council-sponsored PhD in sociolinguistics at the University of Essex in Colchester, England for which he investigated the linguistic consequences of dialect contact in the reclaimed Fenland of East Anglia. In 1991 he began a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Linguistics (now School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies) of Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. There he was part of a research team (along with Prof. Janet Holmes, Prof. Allan Bell and Dr. Mary Boyce) undertaking the first large-scale social dialect analysis of New Zealand English. He returned to the University of Essex as a Lecturer in 1993, but retained his links with the Southern Hemisphere, as a British Academy-sponsored Visiting Scholar at Victoria University in 1996 and again in 1998, this time sponsored by the British Council, and as a visiting Scholar at the University of Sydney in 2000. In 2002 he became Senior Lecturer at Essex. Since January 2010 he holds the Chair of Modern English Linguistics here at the University of Bern. Dave is Associate Editor of the Journal of Sociolinguistics, co-author of Linguistics: an introduction (Cambridge University Press, second edition, 2009) (with Andrew Radford, Martin Atkinson, Harald Clahsen and Andrew Spencer), editor of Language in the British Isles (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and co-editor (with Jenny Cheshire) of Social Dialectology (Benjamins, 2003). He has co-edited a special issue of the International Journal of the Sociology of Language on dialect death in Europe with Dr Reinhild Vandekerckhove (Universiteit Antwerpen in Belgium) and Dr Willy Jongenburger (Meertens Institut, Amsterdam, the Netherlands), published in 2009. He has been an invited speaker in France, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Australia, Malaysia and the US, as well as New Zealand, the UK and Switzerland.
Dave is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Sociolinguistics, and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Linguistic Geography, the International Journal of English Studies, Babel and the French Review of English Linguistics.