English Faculty Database
Arts & Sciences
Duke University

 HOME > Arts & Sciences > English > Faculty    Search Help Login pdf version printable version 
Ronald R. ButtersRonald R. Butters  
Professor Emeritus

Office Location: 314 Allen Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone: (919) 684-6561
Email Address: RonButters@mac.com
Web Page: http://trademarklinguistics.com/


Ph.D., University of Iowa

B.A., University of Iowa

Law and Literature
Ron Butters, who directed the Duke Linguistics Program for many years, publishes chiefly on (1) current American English and (2) linguistics and legal issues, with special interest in trademarks, contracts and statutes, and defamation. He also pursues his interest in language-and-law questions as a legal consultant and expert witness. He is past editor of The International Journal of Speech, Language, and the Law and past president of the International Association of Forensic Linguists. His publications include The Death of Black English: Divergence and Convergence in Black and White Vernaculars (Lang, 1989); What Is About to Take Place Is a Murder’: Construing the Racist Subtext in a Small-Town Virginia Courtroom,” Language in Action: New Studies of Language and Society. Ed. by Peg Griffin et al. (Hampton Press, 2000), 373–99; “Linguistic Change in Words One Owns: How Trademarks Become ‘Generic’,” Studies in the History of the English Language II, ed. A. Curzan and K. Emmons (Mouton de Gruyter, 2004), 111–23; “Sociolinguistic Variation and the Law,” ch. 12 in Sociolinguistic Variation: Theories, Methods and Applications, ed. by R. Bayley and C. Lucas (Cambridge UP, 2007, 318–37); “Changing Linguistic Issues in U.S. Trademark Litigation,” Proceedings of the Second European IAFFL Conference on Forensic Linguistics-Language and the Law, ed. by M. Turelll et al. (Publicacions de l'IULA, No. 19, 2007), 29–42; “Trademarks,” ch. 16 in Dimensions of Forensic Linguistics, ed. J. Gibbons and M. Turell (Benjamins, 2008); “A Linguistic Look at Trademark Dilution,” Santa Clara Computer & High Technology Law Journal (vol. 24, 2008); “Issues in Forensic Linguistic Data Collection,” Data Collection in Sociolinguistics: Methods and Applications, 2nd Edition. Ed. by Christine Mallinsonet al. (Routledge, 2018, 186–188.

Curriculum Vitae
Representative Publications   (More Publications)   (search)

  1. "How Not to Strike it Rich: Semantics, Pragmatics, and Semiotics of A Massachusetts Lottery Ticket." Applied Linguistics  (2004)  [abs] [author's comments]
  2. Butters, RR. "Chance as Cause of Language Variation and Change." Journal of English Linguistics  (2001)  [author's comments]
  3. Butters, RR. "’We didn’t realize that lite beer was supposed to suck!’: The Putative Vulgarity of X sucks in American English." Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America  (2001)  [abs] [author's comments]
  4. "“What Is About to Take Place Is a Murder": Construing the Racist Subtext in a Small-Town Virginia Courtroom." Language in Action: New Studies of Language and Society. Ed. Peg Griffin, Joy Peyton, Walt Wolfram, and Ralph Fasold. Hampton, 2000.
More Information:

See also my forensic linguistic web site and publications at http://trademarklinguistics.com/ (click on "search" immediately above)

Duke University * Arts & Sciences * English * Faculty * Staff * Grad * Scholars * Post-Docs * Reload * Login