Renée A. Blake

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Renée A. Blake is a Caribbean-American linguistics professor at New York University.


Renée A. Blake is a second-generation Caribbean American by way of Trinidad and Venezuela. She is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Linguistics and Social & Cultural Analysis at New York University. She also serves as a Faculty Fellow in Residence at New York University.[1] In addition, Blake was a visiting professor at the University of Michigan in the spring semester of 2004.

Her research examines language contact, race, ethnicity and class with a focus on African-American English, Caribbean English Creoles and New York City English. She is the recipient of several grants including Fulbright, Rockefeller and National Science Foundation. In 2010, she was awarded the Martin Luther King Jr. Faculty Award at New York University. She has also served as a consultant to organizations including Disney and the Ford Foundation. She has two web-based linguistic sites: Word. The Online Journal on African American English and "Voices of New York".

Blake started and completed her tertiary level education at Stanford University. She received a B.Sc in Biology, an M.A. in Linguistics, and a Ph.D. in Linguistics. She has undertaken additional coursework at University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, and at Universita per Stranieri di Perugia, Italy.

She is the daughter of the film producer Grace Blake and the sister of the actor Andre B. Blake.

Published works (selected)[edit]

  • (Forthcoming). “Not As Clear As Black and White: Race, Class and Language in a Barbados Community,” in Arthur Spears (ed.), Black Language—The United States and the English-speaking Caribbean: Education, History, Structure and Use. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • 2010. “Second Generation West Indian Americans and English in New York City,” in English Today 26(3): 35-43 (with Cara Shousterman).
  • 2010. “Diachrony and AAE: St. Louis, Hip-Hop and Sound Change Outside of the Mainstream,” Journal of English Linguistics 38(3): 230-247 (with Cara Shousterman).
  • 2005. “Speaking Strictly Roots (West Indies),” in Walt Wolfram and Ben Ward (eds.), American Voices. Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 172-78.
  • 2004. “Bajan Phonology.” In Bernd Kortmann and Edgar W. Schneider (ed.), A Handbook of Varieties of English: Volume 1. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • 2003b. “African American Vernacular English and Variation in Teachers’ Attitudes: A Question of School Philosophy?” Linguistics and Education 14(2):163-94 (with Cecilia Cutler).
  • 2003a. “The /ay/ Diphthong in a Martha's Vineyard Community: What Can We Say 40 Years Later?” (with Meredith Josey). Language in Society 32(4):451-85.
  • 1997. “Defining the Envelope of Linguistic Variation: The Case of “Don’t Count” forms in the Copula Analysis of African American Vernacular English.” Language Variation and Change 9(1):57-80.
  • 1991. “Rappin on the Copula Coffin: Theoretical and Methodological Issues in the Analysis of Copula Variation in African American Vernacular English.” Language Variation and Change 3(1):103-32. (with Rickford, John, Arnetha Ball, Raina Jackson, and Nomi Martin).
  • 1990. “Contraction and Deletion of the Copula in Barbadian English.” Proceedings of the Sixteenth Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society (BLS 16). Berkeley, CA: Berkeley Linguistics Society, 257-68. (with John Rickford).


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