Gregory R Guy

Professor Affiliation: NYU Abu Dhabi
Education: BA Boston University; MA PhD University of Pennsylvania

Research Areas: language variation and change, sociolinguistics, Portuguese and Spanish, language conflicts

Gregory Guy is a linguist who works on linguistic diversity, language history and language change, and the social meanings and practices of language use, with a special focus on issues of class, race, and language. He is currently involved in advancing cross-cultural approaches to sociolinguistic research and promoting research on understudied languages and communities around the globe. His original research has focused primarily on Portuguese, English, and Spanish; he has done fieldwork in Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Argentina, and Australia.

After discovering linguistics as an undergraduate at Boston University, he did his graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania with Prof. William Labov. His dissertation on popular Brazilian Portuguese was a study of the vernacular speech of working-class people in Rio de Janeiro. He has been a professor at NYU since 2001; before that, he worked at Sydney, Cornell, Stanford, and York University (Toronto). His books include Sociolinguística Quantitativa – Instrumental de Análise (Parábola) and Towards a Social Science of Language (Benjamins).

His recent research has focused on the social cohesion of dialects and varieties of language – how a cluster of linguistic traits come to characterize a particular group or speech community, and whether and why speakers use (or fail to use) those traits collectively to reflect their identity in the community. This work has been reported in publications (e.g. ‘Linguistic coherence: systems, repertoires and speech communities,’ with Frans Hinskens, Lingua2016), and organized conferences and workshops (e.g. ‘Coherence: Outcome or cause of language change?’ Panel session at ICLAVE 10 conference, Leeuwarden NL, 2019).