PROF. MERVYN ALLEYNE HAS PASSED AWAY

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A message from the Department of English at the University of Puerto Rico. We offer the Department at his family our condolences. I (Lisa) want to personally acknowledge my gratitude for his great kindness and warmth, which I valued immensely:

Mervyn Coleridge Alleyne (1933-2016)

Mervyn was a renowned sociolinguist and dialectologist whose ground-breaking work on the creole languages of the Caribbean spearheaded the development of the field of creolistics.

Mervyn attended Queen’s Royal College in Port-of-Spain and later won a scholarship to the University College of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica in 1953. After graduating from Mona, he obtained a PhD from the University of Strasbourg, France. He returned to Mona as a lecturer in 1959 and was made Professor of Sociolinguistics in 1982.

He was the author of many significant conference papers and journal articles and several seminal books, among them: < Comparative Afro-American — An Historical-Comparative Study of English-Based Afro-American Dialects> (1980), <Roots of Jamaican Culture> (1988), <Syntaxe Historique Créole> (1996), <The Construction and Representation of Race and Ethnicity in the Caribbean and the World> (2002), and <Folk Medicine of Jamaica> (2004). He was president of the Society for Caribbean Linguistics (SCL) from 1990 to 1992 and co-founder of the <Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages>. A festschrift in his honor was published in 1996 titled: <Caribbean Language Issues, Old & New: Papers in Honour of Professor Mervyn Alleyne on the Occasion of His Sixtieth Birthday> (edited by Pauline Christie).

When he retired from The University of the West Indies, Mona, he was awarded the highly coveted status of Professor Emeritus.

In 2003, Mervyn began a second very productive career as Professor of linguistics in the English Department of the College of Humanities of the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, where he guided numerous graduate students in their research. In October 2011, he was honored at an activity organized at the UPR’s Institute of Caribbean Studies titled: “The Interdisciplinary Scholarship of a Caribbeanist: A Tribute to Dr. Mervyn Alleyne.” He finally retired from the UPR in 2014.

Mervyn touched the lives of many colleagues and students and will be sorely missed. We extend our profound condolences to his family.”

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