The American Academy of Arts & Sciences is awarding linguist William Labov the Talcott Parsons Prize for distinguished and original contributions to the social sciences.
Labov is regarded as the founder of variationist sociolinguistics, a discipline dedicated to understanding and researching language in relation to social factors that include region, class, and gender. He developed a rigorous academic approach to demonstrating that the speech of stigmatized groups can be as systematic and structured as any other. He has also worked to promote literacy for speakers of non-standard dialects and to develop reading and teaching materials for these populations.
First awarded in 1974, the Talcott Parsons Prize was established to honor the noted sociologist and former president of the Academy. Previous recipients of the prize include Joan Wallach Scott (history), Daniel Kahneman (psychology), William Julius Wilson (sociology), and Albert O. Hirschman (economics). A complete list of all past winners is available here.
Read the press release for more information about the honoree and the prize.