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Paul B. Garrett, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Director of Graduate Studies

Associate Editor, Journal of Linguistic Anthropology

Editorial-Board Member, Oxford Studies in the Anthropology of Language

Email: paul.garrett@temple.edu
Office telephone: 215-204-7621 (but I'm more easily reached by email)

I am a linguistic anthropologist whose research and teaching specializations include creole languages and cultures, particularly those of the Caribbean region; language socialization; ideologies of language; the sociocultural dynamics of language contact; and the political economy of language and communicative practice. Among my other interests are interspecies communication, particularly between humans and wildlife; and the historical, political, and ideological dimensions of transgressive language (such as cursing, swearing, insults, slurs, gaffes, libel, blasphemy, "hate speech," etc.).

I joined the Department of Anthropology at Temple in 2001. Before that, I was on the faculty of the Human Development Program at California State University, Long Beach, where I also had affiliations with the Departments of Anthropology and Linguistics. I earned my bachelor’s degree in sociology (with a concentration in African Studies) at Yale University, and my master’s and doctoral degrees in anthropology at New York University.

Much of my work in recent years has been editorial work: since 2011, I have been the Associate Editor of the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology (of which three issues are published per year), and I am also one of four members of the editorial board of the book series Oxford Studies in the Anthropology of Language.

In my current field research, I examine interactions between humans and non-humans—more specifically, between urban/suburban-dwelling humans and local wildlife, ranging from juvenile songbirds to adult deer and coyotes. I am particularly interested in how people respond to inadvertent and unexpected encounters with wildlife.

In past years, my research focused on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, where an Afro-French creole language known as Kwéyòl is spoken along with local vernacular varieties of English. Much of my work deals with ongoing processes of language change and language shift, examining the historical conditions that have given rise to these processes and the sociocultural, politico-economic, and ideological factors that continue to shape them. Drawing on a large corpus of naturalistic audio-video recordings as well as historical, textual, and other forms of evidence, I examine various ways in which St. Lucians’ everyday communicative practices, particularly socializing interactions between young children and their caregivers, are having far-reaching (but largely unforeseen and misrecognized) ramifications.


Under contract and in preparation: Language Socialization. Cambridge University Press.

2013: "Linguistic Anthropology." In Marc Aronoff (ed.), Oxford Bibliographies Online: Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2012: "Dying Young: The Decline of Pidgins, Creoles, and other Contact Languages." In Genese Marie Sodikoff (ed.), The Anthropology of Extinction: Essays on Culture and Species Death. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

2012: "Why do people fight over language?" In E.M. Rickerson and Barry Hilton (eds.), The Five-Minute Linguist (2nd edition), pp. 93-97. London: Equinox. (A revised and updated version of the essay originally published in 2006.)

2012: "Language Socialization and Language Shift." In Alessandro Duranti, Elinor Ochs, & Bambi B. Schieffelin (eds.), The Handbook of Language Socialization. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

2011: Anthropological Linguistics (co-edited with Bambi B. Schieffelin, New York University; part of the Routledge series Critical Concepts in Language Studies). New York: Routledge. A five-volume compilation of classic and contemporary works, with an introductory essay co-authored by Schieffelin and Garrett.

2007: "'Say it like you see it': Radio Broadcasting and the Mass Mediation of Creole Nationhood in St. Lucia." Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power 14(1-2):135-160.

2007: "Language Socialization and the (Re)Production of Bilingual Subjectivities." In Monica Heller (ed.), Bilingualism: A Social Approach (a volume in the series Advances in Linguistics), pp. 233-256. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

2007: "Researching Language Socialization." Encyclopedia of Language and Education (2nd edition), Volume 10, pp. 189-201. Heidelberg: Springer.

2006: "Contact Languages as Endangered Languages: What is there to lose?" Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages 21(1):175-190.

2006: "Language Socialization." Elsevier Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (2nd edition), Volume 6, pp. 604-613.

2006: "Why do people fight over language?" In E.M. Rickerson & Barry Hilton (eds.), The Five-Minute Linguist, pp. 83-87. London: Equinox.

2005: "What a Language is Good for: Language Socialization, Language Shift, and the Persistence of Code-Specific Genres in St. Lucia." Language in Society 34(3):327-361.

2004: "Language Contact and Contact Languages." In Alessandro Duranti (ed.), A Companion to Linguistic Anthropology, pp. 46-72. Oxford: Blackwell.

2003: "An 'English Creole' that isn't: On the Sociohistorical Origins and Linguistic Classification of the Vernacular English of St. Lucia." In Michael Aceto & Jeffrey Williams (eds.), Contact Englishes of the Eastern Caribbean (a volume in the series Varieties of English around the World), pp. 155-210. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

2002: "Language Socialization: Reproduction and Continuity, Transformation and Change" (co-authored with Patricia Baquedano-López, University of California, Berkeley). Annual Review of Anthropology 31:339-361.

2000: "'High' Kwéyòl: The Emergence of a Formal Creole Register in St. Lucia." In John H. McWhorter (ed.), Language Change and Language Contact in Pidgins and Creoles (a volume in the Creole Language Library series), pp. 63-101. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Department of Anthropology | Gladfelter Hall, second floor | 1115 West Berks Street | Philadelphia, PA 19122
Voice mail: 215-204-7577 Fax: 215-204-1410