1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to the Work of John R. Rickford

Edited By Renée Blake, Isabelle Buchstaller Copyright 2020
    524 Pages 79 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    522 Pages 79 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This comprehensive collection is the first full book-length volume to bring together writing focused around and inspired by the work of John Rickford and his role in sociolinguistic research over the last four decades. Featuring contributions from more than 40 leading scholars in the field, the volume integrates both historical and current perspectives on key topics in Rickford’s body of work at the intersection of language and society, highlighting the influence of his work from diverse fields such as sociolinguistics, stylistics, creole studies, and language and education.

    The volume is organized around four sections, each representing one of the fundamental strands in Rickford’s scholarship over the course of his career, bookended by short vignettes that feature stories from the field to more broadly contextualize his intellectual legacy:

    • Language contact from a sociolinguistic and sociohistorical point of view

    • The political ramifications of linguistic heterogeneity

    • The stylistic implications of language variation and change

    • The educational implications of linguistic heterogeneity and social injustice

    Taken together, The Routledge Companion to the Work of John R. Rickford serves as a platform to showcase Rickford’s pioneering contributions to the field and, in turn, to socially reflective linguistic research more generally, making this key reading for students and researchers in sociolinguistics, creole studies, language and style, and language and education.

    Table of contents

    1. Introduction

    1. Introduction to the volume
    2. Renée Blake and Isabelle Buchstaller

    3. The makings of a linguist: John R. Rickford’s education in his native Guyana

    Ewart Thomas

    1. Exploring language contact from a sociolinguistic and socio-historical point of view

    1. Introduction
    2. John Victor Singler

    3. In the Fisherman’s net: Language contact in a sociolinguistics context
    4. Shelome Gooden

    5. African- Indian- American South- and Caribbean worlds: connecting with John R. Rickford’s language contact research
    6. Rajend Mesthrie

    7. Ideophones in Guyanese speech: An inventory of depictive lexemes and implications for (de)creolization
    8. Walter Edwards and Onjel Williams

    9. Systemic linguistic discrimination and disenfranchisement in the Creolophone Caribbean: The case of the St. Lucian legal system
    10. Ian Robertson and Sandra Evans

    11. The English words in Sranan: From where, from whom and how?
    12. André Sherriah, Hubert Devonish, Ewart Thomas, and Nicole Creanza

    13. Another look at the creolist hypothesis of AAVE origins
    14. Don Winford

    15. Rickford’s list of African American English grammatical features: An update
    16. Arthur Spears

    17. The ‘aks’ of its day?: Revisiting invariant am in Early Black English
    18. John McWhorter

    19. Viewing ex-slave narratives from a different angle: Variation and discourse
    20. Lisa Green and Ayana Whitmal

    21. Race, class, and linguistic camouflage: Remote past BEEN and the divergence debate revisited
    22. Tracey Weldon

    23. The sociolinguistic ramifications of social injustice: The case of Black ASL
    24. Robert Bayley, Ceil Lucas, Joseph Hill, and Carolyn McCaskill

    25. Ethnolinguistic infusion at a Sephardic adventure camp

    Sarah Bunin Benor

    1. The political ramifications of linguistic heterogeneity

    1. Introduction
    2. Alicia Beckford Wassink

    3. Giving voice to despair and defiance: Rickford in Guyana
    4. William Labov

    5. American mestizos in the Philippines: ‘Mongrelization’ and ‘mixedness’ in American colonial media discourse
    6. Bonnie McElhinny

    7. Family matters: Seminal Rickford contributions to Kinesics, Education, Linguistics, and Law
    8. John Baugh

    9. ‘Are you Soul Folk, Baby?’ Black English, struggle, and consciousness in the 1960s and 1970s
    10. Russell J. Rickford

    11. We should declare AAL a separate language, although there’s no scientific reason (not) to
    12. Ralph Fasold

    13. Where sociolinguistics and speech science meet: The physiological and acoustic consequences of underbite in a multilectal speaker of African American English
    14. Alicia Beckford Wassink

    15. Credibility without intelligibility: Implications for hearing vernacular speakers
    16. Lauren Hall-Lew, Inês Paiva Couceiro and Amie Fars

    17. Using pharyngeals out of context: Linguistic stereotypes in parodic performances of Mizrahi Hebrew speakers
    18. Roey Gafter

    19. Sociolinguists trying to make a difference: race, research and linguistic activism
    20. Mary Bucholtz

    21. Linguistic justice: Evaluating the speech of asylum claimants
    22. Peter Patrick

    23. Linguistics on trial, under arrest, and in prison: On sharing sociolinguistic and forensic linguistic knowledge with attorneys, law enforcement practitioners, and incarcerated persons
    24. Natalie Schilling

    25. Implicit sociolinguistic bias and social justice
    26. Walt Wolfram and Karen Eisenhauer

    27. Forging new ways of hearing diversity: The politics of linguistic heterogeneity in the work of John R. Rickford
    28. Sharese King and Jonathan Rosa

      IV The stylistic implications of language variation and change

    29. Introduction
    30. Edward Finegan

    31. Indexical obsolescence
    32. Penelope Eckert

    33. Age grading, style, and language change: A lifespan perspective
    34. Gillian Sankoff

    35. Style: The presentation of self in everyday life – to an empty theater?
    36. Dennis Preston

    37. Pidgin, pride and prejudice: Race, gender and stylistic codeswitching in Nigerian stand-up comedy
    38. Rudolf Gaudio

    39. ‘I’d better schedule an MRI’: The linguistic stylization of ‘white’ ethnicity in comedy Carmen Fought
    40. The N word as an emblem of survival identity in African American comedy
    41. Jacquelyn Rahman

    42. Style in motion: Lectal focusing in an African American sermon
    43. Devyani Sharma, Lars Hinrichs, Tracy Conner, and Andrea Kortenhoven

    44. Topic-restricting as far as revisited
    45. Robin Melnick and Thomas Wasow

    46. Don’t neglect the situation – but don’t stop there either! On intra-individual variation
    47. Frans Gregersen

      V. The educational implications of linguistic heterogeneity and social injustice

    48. Introduction
    49. Julie Sweetland and Angela Rickford

    50. The Effects of culturally relevant texts and questions on the reading comprehension of students of color
    51. Angela E. Rickford

    52. Vernaculars – Symbols of solidarity and truth in literature
    53. Hazel Simmons-McDonald

    54. Transnationalism, social networks, and heterogeneous language practices: A case study of a New York-based Jamaican student
    55. Shondel Nero

    56. Vetting the Versatility Approach
    57. Julie Sweetland

    58. John Rickford and social justice for speakers of Vernacular English
    59. Jeff Siegel

    60. I, too, am America’: African American Language, #BlackLivesMatter, and Critical (Socio)Linguistics
    61. Sonja Lanehart

    62. A Pedagogy of Linguistic Justice: John Rickford in the classroom and the field

    Django Paris

    VI. Vignettes

    John R. Rickford – back in the day

    Gregory Guy

    Tribute to a colleague

    Tom Wasow

    Putting the humanity into linguistics

    Dan Jurafsky

    Notes on mentorship

    Isla Kristina Flores-Bayer

    The Consummate Teacher

    Sarah Roberts

    Ode to John R. Rickford

    Christine Théberge Rafal

    Notes on crossdisciplinary mentorship

    Janina Fenigsen

    Tribute to a scholar

    Salikoko S. Mufwene

    Spoken Soul: Tribute to a seminal work

    Geneva Smitherman and H. Samy Alim

    John R. Rickford’s influence on language and practice

    Toya Wyatt

    Tribute from an educator

    Noma LeMoine

    Black Lives Matter

    Michel DeGraff


    Renée Blake is Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University, USA.

    Isabelle Buchstaller is Professor of English Linguistics at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany.