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.

part I|9 pages


chapter 1|2 pages

Introduction to the Volume

ByRenée Blake, Isabelle Buchstaller

chapter 2|5 pages

The Makings of a Linguist

John R. Rickford’s Education in His Native Guyana
ByEwart A.C. Thomas

part II|141 pages

Exploring Language Contact From a Sociolinguistic and Sociohistorical Point of View

chapter 3|4 pages


ByJohn Victor Singler

chapter 4|9 pages

In the Fisherman’s Net

Language Contact in a Sociolinguistics Context
ByShelome Gooden

chapter 5|9 pages

African-Indian-American South and Caribbean Worlds

Connecting With John R. Rickford’s Language Contact Research
ByRajend Mesthrie

chapter 6|11 pages

Ideophones in Guyanese Speech

An Inventory of Depictive Lexemes and Implications for (De)Creolization 1
ByWalter F. Edwards, Ongel Williams

chapter 7|6 pages

Systemic Linguistic Discrimination and Disenfranchisement in the Creolophone Caribbean

The Case of the St. Lucian Legal System
ByIan E. Robertson, R. Sandra Evans

chapter 8|12 pages

The English Words in Sranan

From Where, From Whom, and How?
ByAndré C. Sherriah, Hubert Devonish, Ewart A.C. Thomas, Nicole Creanza

chapter 9|15 pages

Another Look at the Creolist Hypothesis of Aave Origins

ByDonald Winford

chapter 10|11 pages

Rickford’s List of African American English Grammatical Features

An Update
ByArthur K. Spears

chapter 11|10 pages

The ‘Aks’ of its Day?

Revisiting Invariant Am in Early Black English
ByJohn McWhorter

chapter 12|15 pages

Viewing Ex-Slave Narratives from a Different Angle

Variation and Discourse
ByLisa Green, Ayana Whitmal

chapter 13|18 pages

Race, Class, and Linguistic Camouflage

Remote Past BEEN and the Divergence Debate Revisited 1
ByTracey L. Weldon

chapter 14|9 pages

The Sociolinguistic Ramifications of Social Injustice

The Case of Black ASL
ByRobert Bayley, Ceil Lucas, Joseph Hill, Carolyn McCaskill

chapter 15|10 pages

Ethnolinguistic Infusion at Sephardic Adventure Camp

BySarah Bunin Benor

part III|137 pages

The Political Ramifications of Linguistic Heterogeneity

chapter 16|6 pages


ByAlicia Beckford Wassink

chapter 17|6 pages

Giving Voice to Despair and Defiance

Rickford in Guyana
ByWilliam Labov

chapter 18|15 pages

American Mestizos in the Philippines

‘Mongrelization’ and ‘Mixedness’ in American Colonial Media Discourse 1
ByBonnie McElhinny

chapter 19|7 pages

Family Matters

Seminal Rickford Contributions to Kinesics, Education, Linguistics, and Law 1
ByJohn Baugh

chapter 22|14 pages

Where Sociolinguistics and Speech Science Meet

The Physiological and Acoustic Consequences of Underbite in a Multilectal Speaker of African American English 1
ByAlicia Beckford Wassink

chapter 23|11 pages

Credibility without Intelligibility

Implications for Hearing Vernacular Speakers
ByLauren Hall-Lew, Inês Paiva Couceiro, Amie Fairs

chapter 24|10 pages

Using Pharyngeals Out of Context

Linguistic Stereotypes in Parodic Performances of Mizrahi Hebrew Speakers
ByRoey J. Gafter

chapter 25|9 pages

Sociolinguists Trying to Make a Difference

Race, Research, and Linguistic Activism 1
ByMary Bucholtz

chapter 26|8 pages

Linguistic Justice

Evaluating the Speech of Asylum Claimants
ByPeter L. Patrick

chapter 27|10 pages

Linguistics on Trial, Under Arrest, and in Prison

On Sharing Sociolinguistic and Forensic Linguistic Knowledge With Attorneys, Law Enforcement Practitioners, and Incarcerated Persons
ByNatalie Schilling

chapter 28|12 pages

Implicit Sociolinguistic Bias and Social Justice

ByWalt Wolfram, Karen Eisenhauer

chapter 29|9 pages

Forging New Ways of Hearing Diversity

The Politics of Linguistic Heterogeneity in the Work of John R. Rickford
BySharese King, Jonathan Rosa

part IV|102 pages

The Stylistic Implications of Language Variation and Change

chapter 30|5 pages


ByEdward Finegan

chapter 31|10 pages

Indexical Obsolescence

ByPenelope Eckert

chapter 32|8 pages

Age Grading, Style, and Language Change

A Lifespan Perspective
ByGillian Sankoff

chapter 33|15 pages


The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life—To an Empty Theater?
ByDennis R. Preston

chapter 34|9 pages

Pidgin Pride and Prejudice

Race, Gender, and Stylistic Codeswitching in Nigerian Stand-Up Comedy
ByRudolf P. Gaudio

chapter 35|12 pages

‘I’d Better Schedule an MRI’

The Linguistic Stylization of ‘White’ Ethnicity in Comedy 1
ByCarmen Fought

chapter 36|10 pages

The N Word as an Emblem of Survival Identity in African American Comedy

ByJacquelyn Rahman

chapter 37|10 pages

Style in Motion

Lectal Focusing in an African American Sermon
ByDevyani Sharma, Lars Hinrichs, Tracy Conner, Andrea Kortenhoven

chapter 38|11 pages

Topic-Restricting as far as Revisited

ByRobin Melnick, Thomas Wasow

part V|73 pages

The Educational Implications of Linguistic Heterogeneity and Social Injustice

chapter 40|3 pages


ByJulie Sweetland, Angela E. Rickford

chapter 42|11 pages

Vernaculars—‘Symbols of Solidarity and Truth’ in Literature

ByHazel Simmons-McDonald

chapter 43|8 pages

Language Practices of a Jamaican Transnational

ByShondel Nero

chapter 44|12 pages

Vetting the Versatility Approach

ByJulie Sweetland

chapter 46|9 pages

‘I, Too, Am America’

African American Language, #BlackLivesMatter, and Critical (Socio)Linguistics 1
BySonja L. Lanehart

chapter 47|5 pages

A Pedagogy of Linguistic Justice

John R. Rickford in the Classroom and the Field
ByDjango Paris

part VI|19 pages


chapter |1 pages

John R. Rickford—Back in the Day

ByGregory R. Guy

chapter |2 pages

Tribute to a Colleague

ByThomas Wasow

chapter |1 pages

Putting the Humanity into Linguistics

ByDan Jurafsky

chapter |1 pages

Notes on Mentorship

ByIsla Kristina Flores-Bayer

chapter |1 pages

The Consummate Teacher

BySarah Roberts

chapter |1 pages

ODE to John R. Rickford

ByChristine Théberge Rafal

chapter |1 pages

Notes on Crossdisciplinary Mentorship

ByJanina Fenigsen

chapter |1 pages

Tribute to a Scholar

BySalikoko S. Mufwene

chapter |2 pages

Spoken Soul

Tribute to a Seminal Work
ByGeneva Smitherman, H. Samy Alim

chapter |2 pages

John R. Rickford’s Influence on Language and Practice

ByToya Wyatt

chapter |2 pages

Tribute from an Educator

ByNoma LeMoine

chapter |2 pages

Black Lives Matter

John Rickford v. Creole Exceptionalism
ByMichel DeGraff