Filling the gap
Dr. Philip Rudd, Assistant Professor of English, recently returned from Stuttgart, Germany where he had participated in a panel on understanding culture through language sponsored by AFRICOM (United States Africa Command).
“The talk,” says Rudd, “addresses aspects of linguistic ecology among speakers in a richly diverse cultural environment and a language—Sheng—that has emerged to fill a niche in Nairobi, one of Africa’s urban centers.
The name of the language, Sheng, comes from the speakers playing with the word for English. English becomes Lish-Eng which becomes Sheng.
Rudd, whose teaching duties at PSU include grammar and HEL (History of the English Language), received his B.S. in Secondary Education, an M.A. in Literature from Southeast Missouri State University, and a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics from Ball State University. Along the way, he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya, where he
taught in a rural secondary school.
Rudd has worked as a private contract teacher in Saudi Arabia and has taught at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.
Though he is a world traveller, Rudd hails from Missouri.
“I was born in St. Charles, MO,” he says, “but I grew up the in the counties of
Ripley and Carter in southeast Missouri.”
In 2005, Rudd won a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad fellowship through which he returned to Kenya, where he collected data and began to write his dissertation on Sheng, Nairobi’s urban vernacular. His research covers Second Language
Acquisition; Pragmatics; English linguistics; Ecolinguistics; Contact Linguistics; and African Linguistics.
He has begun is third year at Pittsburg State.
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