Skip to Main Content

Ronald F Kephart

Associate Professor

Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work | College of Arts & Sciences

Areas of Expertise

Anthropology: linguistic, cultural, physical.
Linguistics: general; creolistics.
Caribbean languages, cultures.
Spanish language and linguistics.


Ph.D., Anthropology, University of Florida, 1985.
Advanced Certificate in Latin American Studies, University of Florida, 1985.
M.A., Latin American Studies, University of Florida, 1980.
B.A., Spanish Language and Literature, College of William and Mary, 1968.

St. Johns College, Annapolis, Maryland, 1963-65.


Ronald Kephart is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Florida, where he has been since 1989. He came to linguistics and anthropology after teaching Spanish as a Peace Corps Volunteer on Carriacou, Grenada, 1971-74. From this experience he developed a deep and abiding interest, some might say obsession, with the role of "non-standard" languages in education, and this is reflected in his doctoral research. As a four-field trained anthropologist, Professor Kephart teaches and writes about a range of topics that includes language, human evolution, human biological and cultural diversity, and the uses of anthropology in helping to explain and solve human problems. As a scientific anthropologist, he is dedicated to research that is empirically based and that has the potential to lead to nomothetic explanations of human nature.


Inter-American Foundation Masters Learning Fellowship, 1979.

Inter-American Foundation Doctoral Fellowship, 1982-84.


American Anthropological Association
Society for Linguistic Anthropology
Society for Pidgin and Creole Linguistics
Society for Caribbean Linguistics
Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars.

Publications & Presentations

Broken English: The Creole Language of Carriacou. New York: Peter Lang Publishers, 2000.

Meeting Anthropology Phase to Phase. (co-author with B. Graber, R. Skelton, R. Rowlett, and S. Brown). Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Publishers, 2000.

Creole English on Carriacou: A sketch and some implications. Contact Englishes of the Eastern Caribbean, edited by Aceto and Williams. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2003.

Latin America and the Caribbean. Race and Ethnicity: An Anthropological Focus on the United States and the World. Edited by Raymond Scupin. Prentice Hall, 2003.

Using Creole to teach reading in Carriacou. Language, Blacks, and Gypsies: Languages Without a Written Tradition and Their Role in Education, edited by Thomas Acton and Morgan Dalphinis. Whiting and Birch, 2000.




Reading Creole English does not destroy your brain cells!  Pidgins, Creoles, and Nonstandard Dialects in Education, edited by Jeff Siegal.  Applied Linguistics Association of Australia, 1992.


Ecology of language in Carriacou. SECOLAS Annals, Journal of the Southeastern Conference on Latin American Studies, Volume XXIII (March 1992).  Pp. 110-124.


Verbal categories in Carriacou Creole English. The SECOL Review, Journal of the Southeastern Conference on Linguistics, Volume X Number 2 (Summer 1986).  Pp. 116-130.


Bilingual aspects of language in a creole community. Bilingualism: Social Issues and Policy Implications, edited by Andrew W. Miracle, Jr.  The University of Georgia Press, 1983.

Contact Information

Building 51, Room 2211

(904) 620-1659