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From the PublisherThe culminating volume in Labov's magnum opus on language variation and change will assure forever his indelible imprint on the field of linguistics. Thanks to Labov, the field should never be the same."
— Walt Wolfram, North Carolina State University
"William Labov completes his monumental study of sound change by examining the forces that drive divergence and convergence in neighboring communities. His impeccable attention to detail is illuminated, as always, by his sensitivity to the social, communal and personal motives that lie behind the ways in which we talk to one another."
— J.K. Chambers, University of Toronto
"Labov's inexhaustible creative wellspring produces a fountain of insight and essential reading for all scholars concerned with language as a dynamic social organism. This volume assembles elements of his work into a grand mosaic: a work of science, but also a work of art."
— Gregory R. Guy, New York University