Drafting of a book manuscript on language variety among African Americans and Creoles of color in francophone Louisiana. This work adopts an ecological approach to the documentation and description of the French-related language varieties spoken by African Americans and Creoles of color in multiple regions of Louisiana. As used in the field of linguistics, ecology refers broadly to the environment in which a language is used. This environment comprises both external elements, such as speakers' social status and any contact they may have with speakers of other languages, and internal elements, including the language's grammatical structures and the degree of social and regional variation they show (Mufwene 2001). A key premise of my study is that only the kind of holistic view that an ecological approach provides can do justice to the complexity of language use and its relation to ethnicity in francophone Louisiana. An important consequence of this premise is that my object of study is markedly different from that of other work done on French in Louisiana. Whereas most previous studies have focused on a single variety, Cajun or Creole, and have typically associated each variety with a particular ethnic group—Cajun with Cajuns and Creole with Creoles—my own research has shown such an approach to be inadequate for capturing the subtle interplay of language and ethnic identity. Instead, I provide a more comprehensive view of the ecology of French Louisiana by considering the full range of speech among two closely related groups, French-speaking African Americans and Creoles of color, in order to better address the following questions: What are the main structural features of the varieties of French spoken by these groups in Louisiana? How does their speech differ within and across regions? Is it distinct from that of white francophones in these same regions, and if so, how? What ecological factors have contributed to the extension, maintenance, or reduction of linguistic differences among the varieties of French spoken by these groups? What differences, if any, do speakers perceive between their own variety of French and those of other regions or other groups in their own region? By addressing these questions from an ecological perspective, this book enhances our understanding of the diversity of French spoken by African Americans and Creoles of color. It also sheds light on the relationship between white and non-white francophone communities and on the degree to which linguistic boundaries coincide with and reinforce ethnic boundaries. Finally, this work contributes to broader endeavors in the field of linguistics, including the documentation of French outside of France, the study of the historical and structural relationships between Creole languages and vernacular varieties of their lexifiers, and the study of language contact and language change. Since all forms of French in Louisiana, but especially Louisiana Creole, are threatened with extinction, this work also serves the essential function of better documenting these language varieties before they disappear.