Charlie Farrington ’08 Wins 2022 Bloomfield Book Award

Nicole Formisano ’22
An image of Charlie Farrington ’08

November 16, 2021—Charlie Farrington ’08 has been awarded the prestigious 2022 Bloomfield Book Award for his work entitled, African American Language, a book that explores the intricacies of language and identity. Published by Cambridge University Press, the book is co-authored by Mary Kohn (Kansas State University), Walt Wolfram (North Carolina State University), Jennifer Renn (Purdue University), and Janneke Van Hofwegen (Google).

Farrington’s study is lauded for its intensive longitudinal methodology, combined with its thoughtful socio-historical analyses, which paints a thorough and nuanced understanding of how language develops throughout the course of a lifetime. The Linguistic Society of America notes that the book, “contribut[es] substantially to our understanding of how children construct identity, negotiate status and relationships, and transition across life stages by means of and as represented by their language.”

Farrington’s dedication to such a significant body of work is no doubt founded on a passion for the study of language that started through his coursework as an undergraduate student. “I'm very honored,” said Farrington, “to be a part of this monumental study that was 20+ years in the making and I'm proud that this study has been recognized by the Linguistic Society of America. I'd also like to say that I'm thankful for my time at Marist where I was both introduced and directed into the field of sociolinguistics by Dr. Fitzgibbons (Professor of English) and Dr. Haruta (Associate Professor of English). I can't imagine where I'd be without their mentorship."

In fact, Farrington’s English professors introduced him to not only the study of linguistics, but also the prominent language scholars that he now finds himself working with only a few years after graduation. Charlie Farrington, "was first introduced to the work of Walt Wolfram in an introductory linguistics course at Marist and now finds himself co-author of a book with him. This is quite an accomplishment," said Dr. Haruta.

After graduating from Marist in 2008 with a degree in English, Farrington went on to earn his MA in English at North Carolina State University in 2011 and a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Oregon in 2019. As a current visiting assistant professor at Virginia Tech, Farrington focuses on the collection and preservation of data and audio recordings for future linguists. Farrington has co-developed the Corpus of Regional African American Language, the first public collection of African American Language data. His research has appeared in journals such as American Speech, Language Variation and Change, and the Journal of Acoustical Society of America.

To learn more about the English program at Marist College, visit the Department’s website.

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