Advisory Council


The National Museum of Language is delighted to announce that the following individuals have agreed to join our newly created National Advisory Council: Dr. Joan Houston Hall, Dr. K. David Harrison, Dr. David Crystal, Dr. Charles Stansfield and Senator (and former Ambassador) James Rosapepe.   A recent initiative, the National Advisory Council is intended to tap the knowledge and experience of the most successful in their fields for Museum purposes.  Welcome aboard all!

Joan Houston Hall

Dr. Joan Houston Hall is Chief Editor of the Dictionary of American Regional English. She began as an Assistant Editor of DARE in 1975, became Associate Editor in 1979, and succeeded Frederic G. Cassidy as Chief Editor in 2000.  Her Ph.D. is from Emory University, where her dissertation focused on the Dialect Survey of Rural Georgia.

Dr. Hall has served as President of the American Dialect Society and the Dictionary Society of North America (DSNA), and she was named a Fellow of the DSNA in 2009. She has also been a member of advisory boards for Oxford University Press, National Public Radio’s “A Way with Words,” and the journals American Speech, the Journal of English Linguistics, and Verbatim.

K. David Harrison

K. David Harrison is associate professor of linguistics at Swarthmore College and co-leads the Enduring Voices project at National Geographic. He received his doctorate from Yale University. As a linguist and specialist in Siberian Turkic languages, he has spent extended periods in Siberia and Mongolia working with nomadic herders and studying their languages and cultural traditions. He has also worked in India, the Philippines, Lithuania, Paraguay, and the United States with speakers of endangered languages. Harrison’s work includes not only scientific descriptions of languages, but also storybooks, translations, and digital archives for the use of the native speaker communities. Harrison is widely recognized and consulted as a leading spokesman for endangered languages. He makes frequent appearances before college, high school, and other public audiences, and in media such as NPR, BBC, Good Morning America, and the Colbert Report. He co-stars in the Sundance documentary film “The Linguists” (, which documents him and fellow linguist Greg Anderson traveling around the world to track down and interview last speakers of nearly extinct tongues. His latest book, “The Last Speakers: The Quest to Save the World’s Most Endangered Languages,” was published in fall 2010 by National Geographic Books. Harrison is a National Geographic Fellow.

 David Crystal

Dr.  David Crystal is the author of over sixty books on a wide variety of subjects, specialising among other things in editing reference works, including the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language (1987), theCambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language (1995), the Cambridge Biographical Dictionary, theCambridge Encyclopedia itself, and the New Penguin Encyclopedia (2003). He has also edited literary works, and is Chair of the UK National Literary Association. He also has a strong line in books for the layman about linguistics and the English language. He hypothesises that globally English will both split and converge, with local variants becoming less mutually comprehensible and therefore necessitating the rise of what he terms World Standard Spoken English. His non-linguistic writing includes poems, plays and biography. A Roman Catholic by conviction, he writes devotional poetry and articles for the Catholic magazine, The Tablet.
Since 2001, he has been the president of Crystal Reference Systems Limited, a leading provider of reference content and Internet search and advertising technology. The company’s products are based upon the patented Global Data Model, a complex semantic network that Crystal devised in the early 1980s and was adapted for use on the Internet in the mid 1990s.
He was influential in a campaign to save Holyhead’s convent from demolition, leading to the creation of the Ucheldre Center.
Dr. Crystal continues to write as well as contribute to television and radio broadcasts and for many years presented a BBC Radio 4 programme on language issues.

Charles Stansfield 

Dr. Charles Stansfield is an authority on second language testing. During his 30 year career, he has been a secondary school teacher of Spanish, a tenured professor of Spanish and teacher trainer at the University of Colorado, a test program administrator at Educational Testing Service, director of the ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics, and director of the Division of Foreign Language Education and Testing at the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington, DC.
He has developed and published proficiency tests in English as a second language and in 15 other languages.  He is the author or editor of over a dozen books and research monographs and 50 research articles published in professional journals. He is currently a member of the editorial boards of Language Testing and the Journal of Second Language Writing. Since 1994, when Second Language Testing, Inc. (SLTI) was incorporated, Dr. Stansfield has devoted himself full-time to the management of SLTI projects.

James Rosapepe

Jim Rosapepe is a public servant who has worked at the international, national, and state levels for over twenty years.

For eleven years in the Maryland House of Delegates representing College Park, he fought to protect open space, improve the public schools, boost the University of Maryland, hold down taxes on middle class working and retired families, and protect neighborhoods from drugs and crime.
In 1997, President Bill Clinton asked him to join his administration as U.S. Ambassador to Romania, where he worked to win friends for America and make the world a safer place.  Returning in 2001, Governor Glendening appointed Jim to a five year term on the Board of Regents of the University