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About PhilSoc

The Philological Society is the oldest learned society in Great Britain devoted to the scholarly study of language and languages. It is also a registered charity. It was established in its present form in 1842, consisting partly of members of a society of the same name established at the University of London in 1830 'to investigate and promote the study and knowledge of the structure, the affinities, and the history of languages'. As well as encouraging all aspects of the study of language, PhilSoc has a particular interest in historical and comparative linguistics, and maintains its traditional interest in the structure, development, and varieties of Modern English. A brief account of the early history of PhilSoc can be downloaded from the panel on the right.

PhilSoc pursues its charitable aims in a number of ways:


Details of these activities, as well as PhilSoc membership, can be found by clicking on the relevant button in the menu above.

Nov 2007 marks the 150th anniversary of the reading of one of the most important papers ever to be read to PhilSoc: Richard Chenevix Trench's 'On some deficiencies in our English dictionaries', widely regarded as having created the impetus which ultimately led to the compilation of the Oxford English Dictionary. For more details, click on Trench .