John R. Rickford is Professor of Linguistics at Stanford University, where he has been a faculty member since 1980. From September 1998 he will also be Director of the Program in African and Afro-American Studies and Martin Luther King Jr. Centennial Professor at Stanford. He received his BA with highest honors in Sociolinguistics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1971, and his Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1979. He won a Dean’s Award for distinguished teaching in 1984 and a Bing Fellowship for excellence in teaching in 1992. His interests include sociolinguistics, especially the relation between language and ethnicity, social class and style, language variation and change, pidgin and creole languages, African American Vernacular English, and the applications of linguistics to educational problems. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles, including “Suite for Ebony and Phonics” in the December 1997 issue of Discover magazine. His books include Dimensions of a Creole Continuum (1987), Sociolinguistics and Pidgin-Creole Studies (ed., 1988), A Festival of Guyanese Words (ed., 1978), Analyzing Variation in Language (co-ed., 1987), African American English (co-ed., 1998), Creole Genesis, Attitudes and Discourse (Coedited, 2000), and Spoken Soul: The Story of Black English (co-authored, 2000, winner of an American Book Award). He is currently co-editing two other books Stylistic Variation in Language, and Creole Genesis, and Language in the USA:2001.