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William Labov (b. 1927) has been a driving force in linguistics for over four decades. Throughout North America, and in much of the rest of the world, his name is synonymous with sociolinguistics. This newGuide for the Perplexedsummarizes Labov's work in a number of subfields, including historical linguistics, discourse analysis and not least sociolinguistics. It also sketches a broader context for appreciating Labov's major innovations. His considerable and growing legacy is discussed with comparative glances to other ways of approaching language within linguistics and in neighboring disciplines. Since the publication ofThe Social Stratification of English in New York City in 1966, Labov has pushed the boundaries of sociolinguistics decade after decade but there has been no one volume guide to his work. This is that guide.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements \ List of Figures \ 1. The Challenges of Labov \ 2. Linguistics and Sociolinguistics before Labov \ 3. How to Establish a Field as a Graduate Student \ 4. A Variationist Approach to Language \ 5. Speech Styles and Discourse \ 6. The "Socio" of Sociolinguistics \ 7. Labov as Historical Linguist \ 8. African American English: Lessons Learned, Lessons Taught \ 9. The Revolution at 50 \ Bibliography \ Index