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 Vyvyan Evans | Professor of Linguistics

Dr. Vyvyan Evans
Language Expert, Digital Communication Technologist, & Author

I am an expert in language and digital communication.  In my writing and my research I explore the prodigious capacity of our species, Homo sapiens, to mean during the course of spoken interaction, and the impact of technology on language and mind. I have written numerous books on language, non-linguistic communication, meaning, mind, imagination, their evolution, the impact of technology on language and the future of language and communication; I discuss these topics regularly in the popular written and broadcast media. 

My exploration of common questions and issues about language can be found in my Psychology Today column: "Language in the mind", in my blog: "Language creates...". in my popular science writing, and in my podcasts and TV/video appearances.

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The Babel Apocalypse

A genre-blending dystopian, sci-fi mystery-thriller that will make you think about language in a whole new way.
Long-listed for the 2023 Grindstone Literary International Novel Prize.
Named one of the best
novels of 2023 (Kirkus Reviews)

Available in Papberback, eBook and Audiobook.

The Babel Apocalypse website

Read the First Three Chapters here

The Dark Court (Book 2 Songs of the Sage) published 7th May 2024

"A truly extraordinary saga of epic scope." Kirkus (starred review)

The Babel Apocalypse earns a prestigous Kirkus star, for books of exceptional merit


"A perfect fusion of SF, thriller, and mystery—smart speculative fiction at its very best...The novel is powered by a multitude of narrative elements: deeply considered and meticulously described worldbuilding, an impressively complex storyline with numerous bombshell plot twists, emotionally compelling characters, and weighty themes concerning the power of language and the danger of humankind’s becoming overly dependent on technology. When the intriguingly complex elevated to another level; the pace becomes breakneck and the action nonstop, leading up to a stand-up-and-applaud conclusion that not only satisfies, but sets the stage for the next installment."


[Read the full review online at Kirkus: here]  [PDF version here]


"Must read"🏆

"I was hooked by the perfect blend of Sci-Fi, mystery, and thriller, and the author's unique method of crashing a near-future Earth society."  Reedsy Discovery review

“… a cyberpunk tale in the tradition of Neal Stephenson... This is a very, very well-written book.” Medium

“The Babel Apocalypse is a thought-provoking and thrilling tale that explores the nuances of language in a compelling way, making it a great read for any keen linguist or language enthusiast.” Babel Magazine


“A great addition to the corpus of linguistic sci-fi.” Literary Ashland

Language creates...
a blog about language, writing, digital communication and the future of language



The Babel Apocalypse front cover with Kirkus star.jpg

Published May 2nd 2023

Language is no longer learned, but streamed to neural implants regulated by lang-laws. Those who can't afford language streaming services are feral, living on the fringes of society. Big tech corporations control language, the world’s most valuable commodity.


But when a massive cyberattack causes a global language outage, catastrophe looms.

Europol detective Emyr Morgan is assigned to the case. His prime suspect is Professor Ebba Black, the last native speaker of language in the automated world, and leader of the Babel cyberterrorist organization. But Emyr soon learns that in a world of corporate power, where those who control language control everything, all is not as it seems. 

As he and Ebba collide, Emyr faces an existential dilemma between loyalty and betrayal, when everything he once believed in is called into question. To prevent the imminent collapse of civilization and a deadly war between the great federations, he must figure out friend from foe—his life depends on it. And with the odds stacked against him, he must find a way to stop the Babel Apocalypse.

THE babel Apocalypse is SONGS OF THE SAGE  Book #1

Published in eBook, paperback and audiobook formats, by Nephilim Publishing. See publisher website here.

(see more popular science books here)


The Emoji Code (US edition)

US edition -- Aug 2017

The Emoji Code (UK edition)

UK edition -- May 2017

Since 2011, the use of emoji - deriving from the Japanese, meaning picture character - has become a global phenomenon. We send over 6 billion emoji every day and regularly send emoji-only messages, and, when Oxford Dictionaries named the 'Face with Tears of Joy' emoji as their 'Word of the Year 2015', it received an enormous amount of criticism.


Whenever emoji are covered in the popular media the same burning questions come up: Can an emoji really be a word? How language-like is it? Will emoji make us dumber? Or more lazy? Will they make us less adept at communicating with our nearest and dearest? And does this signal the death knell for language as we know it?


Drawing on findings from disciplines as diverse as linguistics, cognitive science, psychology, neuroscience, archaeology and anthropology, this groundbreaking book explores human capacity to communicate, and addresses these questions in the process. The Emoji Code sheds light on emoji's vital role in the expression of emotion in digital communication and more, pointing the way for the future of international communication in a provocative and entertaining way.

Interview with Vyvyan Evans August 25th 2017 - Science Magazine podcast -- The Emoji Code
00:00 / 00:00
The Emoji Code: Social Engineer PodcastVyv Evans 8th June 2020
00:00 / 46:05
On Emoji and Linguistics with Vyv Evans. A podcast about media and culture, 5th March 2021Vyv Evans.Never Ready Gallery
00:00 / 1:14:26
Emoji: The future of language? - Word of Mouth BBC Radio 4 Feb 27th 2017
00:00 / 00:00
Is Emoji the new universal 'language'? -- Excerpt from chapter 1 of 'The Emoji Code'
The power of emoji, Japan's most transformative design -- Excerpt from 'The Emoji Code' in CNN Style 
Emoji is the body language of the digital age -- Excerpt from 'The Emoji Code' in
Nautilus magazine
Emoji is the new universal 'language'. LinkedIn Weekend Essay
Emojis actually make our language better -- article in New York Post
Say it with feeling -- Review of 'The Emoji Code' in New Scientist
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