Concept

William Labov

Summary
William Labov (ləˈboʊv ; born December 4, 1927) is an American linguist widely regarded as the founder of the discipline of variationist sociolinguistics. He has been described as "an enormously original and influential figure who has created much of the methodology" of sociolinguistics. Labov is a professor emeritus in the linguistics department of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and pursues research in sociolinguistics, language change, and dialectology. He retired in 2015 but continues to publish research. Early life and education Labov was born in Rutherford, New Jersey. He attended Harvard University, where he majored in English and philosophy and studied chemistry. He graduated from Harvard in 1948. Career After graduating from Harvard, Labov worked as an industrial chemist in his family's business (1949–61) before turning to linguistics. For his MA thesis (1963) he completed a study of change in the dialect of Martha's Vine
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