The Historiography of Linguistics, Post 1: Shuy 1990 on American Sociolinguistics

Recently, I have begun work on a paper that will investigate the genre of the linguistics article, and how it has changed over time. As a part of my research work on this topic, I have begun to read some of the literature on the historiography of linguistics that has been published over the years. This work contributes to an understanding of the analysis of “change” in linguistics in a different way than other articles and book chapters I’ve posted here before, but I also think it makes an important contribution that perhaps site readers will find interesting and useful.

To begin this series, I present the following article by Roger Shuy:

Shuy, Roger. 1990. A brief history of American Sociolinguistics, 1949-1989. Historographia Linguistica XVII, 1/2: 183-209.

This article deals with the shift that occurred in American Sociolinguistics from the days before Labov came on the scene to around the time the article was actually published (late 1980s). It presents a very interesting perspective on the material from Shuy, who was a linguist who was actually “on the scene” with sociolinguistic interests and focus before Labov arrived and caused the revolution his work did.

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