Taking Rickford’s work as an axis point, this chapter addresses ways in which research on language variation and change can be viewed from a language contact perspective. I look specifically at the role of social factors in creating a social ecosystem in which speakers enact language change. The discussion is framed within a language ecology framework that views ecology as the study of interactions between language and its environment, and thus as part sociological—having an effect on elements of social structure and part psychological—affecting speaker attitudes, ideologies. I discuss aspects of my own research that use this framework and that resonate with Rickford’s work both in terms of research and praxis.