Roy Harris (linguist)

Roy Harris (linguist)

Roy Harris (24 February 1931 - 9 February 2015) was Emeritus Professor of General Linguistics in the University of Oxford and Honorary Fellow of St Edmund Hall. He also held university teaching posts in Hong Kong, Boston and Paris and visiting fellowships at universities in South Africa and Australia, and at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study.

His books on integrationism, theory of communication, semiology and the history of linguistic thought include 'The Language Myth', 'Rethinking Writing', 'Saussure and his Interpreters' and 'The Necessity of Artspeak'.

He was a founding member of the International Association for the Integrational Study of Language and Communication (IAISLC) and founding editor of the journal Language & Communication.


The main focus of Harris' research was the development of an integrational approach to signs and semiological systems, and hence to all human communication. His approach, called integrationism, involves looking at current educational practice, together with the whole history of linguistic thought from Plato down to the present day, in a perspective that differs radically from traditional views. Integrationism has important implications for our understanding of interpersonal relations, as well as of modern society and its communicational resources, including the entire range of arts and sciences.


  • "Synonymy and Linguistic Analysis", 1973, Oxford, Blackwell.
  • "The Language-Makers", 1980, London, Duckworth.
  • "The Language Myth", 1981, London, Duckworth.
  • "F. de Saussure: Course in General Linguistics", 1983, London, Duckworth.
  • "The Origin of Writing", 1986, London, Duckworth.
  • "Reading Saussure", 1987, London, Duckworth.
  • "The Language Machine", 1987, London, Duckworth.
  • "Language, Saussure and Wittgenstein", 1988, London, Routledge.
  • "La Sémiologie de l'écriture", 1994, Paris, CNRS.
  • "Signs of Writing", 1996, London, Routledge.
  • "The Language Connection", 1996, Bristol, Thoemmes.
  • "Signs, Language and Communication", 1996, London, Routledge.
  • "Introduction to Integrational Linguistics", 1998, Oxford, Pergamon.
  • "Rethinking Writing", 2000, London, Athlone.
  • "Saussure and his Interpreters", 2001, Edinburgh, Edinburgh UP.
  • "The Necessity of Artspeak", 2003, London, Continuum. ISBN 9780826460684
  • "The Linguistics of History", 2004, Edinburgh, Edinburgh UP.
  • "The Semantics of Science", 2005, London, Continuum.
  • "Integrationist Notes and Papers 2003–2005", 2006, Crediton, Tree Tongue.
  • "Mindboggling", 2008, Luton, The Pantaneto Press.
  • "Rationality and the Literate Mind", 2009, London, Taylor & Francis.
  • "After Epistemology", 2009, Gamlingay, Bright Pen.
  • "The Great Debate About Art", 2010, Prickly Paradigm Press.
  • "Integrationist Notes and Papers 2009–2011", 2011, Gamlingay, Bright Pen.
  • "Integrationist Notes and Papers 2012", 2012, Gamlingay, Bright Pen.
  • "Integrating Reality", 2012, Gamlingay, Authors Online Ltd.
  • "Language and Intelligence", 2013, Gamlingay, Authors Online Ltd.

External links

  • Roy Harris and Integrational Linguistics
  • The International Association for the Integrational Study of Language and Communication (IAISLC) website
  • Obituary from the International Association for the Integrational Study of Language and Communication (IAISLC)