David W. Maurer

(1906 - 1981)

A linguist and professor of English at the University of Louisville, David W. Maurer was an expert on underworld slang, and he believed that language was the key to a subculture’s behavioral patterns. Maurer began his writing career with the publication of Speech Peculiarities of the North American Fisherman in 1930. As one of his colleagues noted, “If Dave wasn’t the actual father of American sociolinguistics, he was there the night when linguistics got knocked up.”

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