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Deborah Tannen


University Professor


Department of Linguistics
General profile



+1 202-687-5910




Deborah Tannen is university professor and professor of linguistics at Georgetown University. She has been McGraw Distinguished Lecturer at Princeton University and was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences following a term in residence at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ. Among her 22 books, Conversational Style: Analyzing Talk Among Friends and Talking Voices: Repetition, Dialogue and Imagery in Conversational Discourse were recently re-issued in second editions with new introductions by Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press respectively. The topics of her articles and books have included analysis of conversational discourse, spoken and written language, orality and literacy, doctor-patient communication, cross-cultural communication, modern Greek discourse, formulaicity, framing, the relationship between conversational and literary discourse, narrative, and gender and language. She received her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 1979 and has been awarded five honorary doctorates.


  • Ph.D. (1979) University of California, Berkeley, Linguistics
  • M.A. (1976) University of California, Berkeley, Linguistics
  • M.A. (1970) Wayne State University, English Literature
  • B.A. (1966) Harpur College, English Literature


  • Greek, Modern (1453- ) (speak, read, write)