South Philly, Oct 2003 Ė photo by Tom Morton

 Bio:- Peter L. Patrick

This website mostly concerns my professional activities. Since fall 1998 Iíve been a Professor of Sociolinguistics in the Department of Language and Linguistics at the University of Essex (here's the view from my office), in Colchester, southeast England. Before that I taught in the Linguistics Department of Georgetown University in Washington, DC. I have a special interest in the language, culture, and life of Jamaica, and the English-speaking Caribbean in general.

I was born in New York City (St Vincentís Hospital in Greenwich Village) in 1959. I grew up near Tower Isle on the north coast of Jamaica, West Indies, in the mid-1960s and early 1970s. As a young child, I attended a country school rather like this one:


and then went to Campion College in Kingston, JA from 1970-1973. From 1974-1982 I went to Clarke Central High School and the University of Georgia (BA 1982 in History) in Athens, north Georgia- a town where my motherís family (Lumpkins

and Cobbs) had lived for seven generations. Along the way I have cooked in restaurants, driven a flower delivery truck, helped found a human rights festival, worked in a print shop, published a politics/literary magazine, roofed greenhouses, raised funds door-to-door for low-income community organizers ACORN, graded school-childrenís essays, hitchhiked across the USA, written for newspapers, etc. After that I studied linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania (PhD 1992) with Gillian Sankoff and Bill Labov. John Rickford (of Stanford University) also taught and influenced me a lot.

Iím married to Michelle Paul (born in Lincoln, Nebraska). We have one child, and live in Wivenhoe, Essex, one hour N of London. (Contact info)







Lately Iím learning to play the violin. Itís a lot harder than linguistics.


Thanks for checking out this page.

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