A brief account of the evolution of my career

My work began in African American communities in Philadelphia and Los Angeles. From there I moved to Austin, Texas for ten years where I served as Assistant and Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin. It was at the University of Texas that I was first introduced to outstanding graduate students who introduced me to a global array of cultural diversity, beginning with Chicano English in Texas, as well as matters of linguistic identity throughout the world.

In 1987 it was my honor to spend a year at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, which was my first introduction to Stanford University, where I spent most of my career as Professor of Education and Linguistics. I am now Professor Emeritus at Stanford University; however, my current position at Washington University in St. Louis is on-going.

Since 2005 it has been my unique distinction to serve as the Margaret Bush Wilson Professor in Arts and Sciences. I have also served as Director of African and African American Studies since then, in support of a mission to promote academic excellence regarding all fields of intellectual inquiry that pertain to the human and ecological condition of people of African descent throughout the Diaspora.

Noteworthy items

Mentors: William Labov, Dell Hymes, Erving Goffman, John Fought

Travel Desinations: South Africa, Brazil, France, and throughout the United States

Documentary Films:

  • The Story of English: PBS
  • Do you speak American? PBS


Areas of Specialization

  • African and African American Studies
  • Diversity in Occupational Settings
  • Legal relevance of linguistics
  • Educational Linguistics
  • Linguistic Profiling
  • Ethnolinguistic Analyses
  • Linguistic Foundations for Jury Selection
  • Linguistic Investigation Systems
  • Books
  • Communication Management
  • Language Policy Studies
  • Linguistic Attitudes and Stereotypes
  • Board Memberships