Dallin Dixon Oaks

Associate Professor, English Language Area Coordinator, Linguistics

4075 JFSB


Curriculum Vitae

Research Areas: , , ,

Teaching Experience

In addition to teaching about the semantics, history, and structure of the English language, I like to help students to see how such information is relevant and applied in a variety of ways.


My research interests include matters related to the structure and history of the English language, especially structural ambiguity and its application. Some of this research overlaps with humor research as well. I also research matters involving the intersection of linguistics and Latter-day Saint doctrine and culture, including names and naming.

Selected Publications

Selected Publications


  • Oaks, Dallin D. Structural Ambiguity in English: An Applied Grammatical Inventory. Vol. 1. London: Continuum Publishing (now Bloomsbury), 2010. Pages 1-264.
  • Oaks, Dallin D. Structural Ambiguity in English: An Applied Grammatical Inventory. Vol. 2. London: Continuum Publishing (now Bloomsbury), 2010. Pages 267-539. (The two volumes were later also released in a single-bound paperback version)
  • Stageberg, Norman C. and Dallin D. Oaks. An Introductory English Grammar. 5th edition. Fort Worth: Harcourt, 2000. 481 pages.
  • Linguistics at Work: A Reader of Applications. ed. Dallin D. Oaks. Fort Worth: Harcourt, 1998. 757 pages.

Selected Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles:

  • “Mother Goose Rhymes as a Resource in Teaching English Historical Linguistics.” Journal of Linguistics and Language Teaching. 35 ms. pages (Accepted for Publication, Forthcoming).
  • “Historical Language Dynamism and Humor: Some English Language Examples.” With Michael S. Oaks. Southern Journal of Linguistics. 43: 2 (2019/2020), 29-63.
  • “Mormon Metaphors of Restoration: Pathways to Identity and Understanding.” With Cynthia L. Hallen. Science, Religion & Culture. 3:2 (2016). 60-81.
  • “The Tower of Babel Account: A Linguistic Consideration.” Science, Religion & Culture. 2:2 (May 2015). 42-60.
  • “Rethinking the Role of Grammar in the Advertising and Marketing Curriculum.” Journal of Advertising Education. 15: 2 (Fall 2011). 25-34.
  • “Computer Corpora and Authentic Texts: Toward More Effective Language Teaching.” (Co-Authored with Brad L. Wilcox and Timothy G. Morrison) Reading Research and Instruction. (more recently renamed Literacy Research and Instruction) 38:4 (1999). 415-23.
  • “Historical Roots of Structural Ambiguities in English: A Survey of Some Selected Grammatical Features.” General Linguistics 36:1-2 (1998 [1996]). 59-70.
  • “Structural Ambiguities and Written Advertisements: An Inventory of Tools for More Resourceful Advertisements in English.” The Journal of Technical Writing and Communication. 25:4 (1995). 371-92.
  • “Structural Ambiguities in Humor: Getting English Grammar to Cooperate.” Humor: International Journal of Humor Research 7:4 (1994). 377-401.
  • “‘Good Heavens!’: An Old English Euphemism?” General Linguistics 33:1-2 (1993). 57-63.

Selected Book Chapters, Encyclopedic Entries, and Articles in Conference Proceedings

  • “A Creative Approach for Linguistic Funny Business: Using Linguistic Paradigms and Taxonomies.” In Script-Based Semantics: Foundations and Applications. Ed. Salvatore Attardo. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2020. 281-304.
  • “Usage Prescriptions and Ambiguity: How Prescriptivists Have Sometimes Promoted Language Confusion” LACUS Forum: Journal of the Linguistic Association of Canada and the United States. 38:2 (2011/2020), 11-18.
  • “Ambiguity.” In Encyclopedia of Humor Studies. 2 vols. Ed. Salvatore Attardo. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2014. 22-24.
  • “On a Possible Generative Approach to Structurally Ambiguous Humor.” In Artificial Intelligence of Humor: Papers from the AAAI Fall Symposium. Technical Report FS-12-02. pp. 46-50. Electronic Publication of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. 2012. (Also available through the AAAI Digital Library).
  • “The Contributions of Acronyms and Proper Names to Structural Ambiguities in English.” In Atti del XXII Congresso Internazionale di Scienze Onomastiche (Proceedings of the 22nd International Congress of Onomastic Sciences). Pisa, Italy. 28 August- 4 Sept. 2005. Pisai Edizioni ETS, 2007. 311-18.
  • “[Book of Mormon], Language of the Translated Text.” Book of Mormon Reference Companion. ed. Dennis L. Largey. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 2003. 116-119.


(See next box)

Citizenship assignments

Selected Service Assignments

  • Reviewer for the National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships, 2010 (one of just five reviewers nationally for all proposals in Language, Linguistics, Rhetoric, and Communication).
  • Co-Chair for the 21st Annual Assembly for the Teaching of English Grammar Conference (A Division of the NCTE–National Council of Teachers of English), 2010.
  • Faculty Advisory Council, Brigham Young University, 1996-98.
  • Associate Chair, BYU Linguistics Department, 2002-2007.