Lorenzo Dow Turner, the first African American to earn a doctorate in linguistics, conducted the fieldwork for the Gullah project. Turner conducted interviews with 21 Gullah speakers living on the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia. His foundational work, Africanisms in the Gullah Dialect (1949), highlighted the connections between the Gullah and various African languages, such that Gullah is now recognized as being an English-based creole with strong African influences.
Turner used LAP interview protocols similar to those used in other early regional surveys (e.g. LANE and LAMSAS), which makes the Gullah data comparable to these mainland counterparts in terms of breadth and depth of topics. Turner and his research on Gullah impacted creole studies, dialect geography, and African American studies, making this LAP collection of particular interest to scholars in these areas.
The digital Gullah collection contains scanned pages of Turner’s field notebook pages as well as transcribed responses to over 800 Linguistic Atlas Project targets (i.e. individual vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar items), which are available as a downloadable spreadsheet that also contains biographical information about each Gullah informant.
•Kretzschmar, William A., Jr., Virginia McDavid, Theodore Lerud, and Ellen Johnson, eds. 1993. Handbook of the Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South Atlantic States. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
•Montgomery, Michael. 1994. The Crucible of Carolina: Essays in the Development of Gullah Language and Culture. Athens: University of Georgia Press.
•Turner, Lorenzo Dow. 2001 . Africanisms in the Gullah Dialect. Introduction by Katherine Wiley Mill and Michael Montgomery. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.
•Wade-Lewis, Margaret. 1991. Lorenzo Dow Turner: Pioneer African-American linguist. The Black Scholar 21.4: 10-24. New York: Taylor & Francis.