FERGUSON, Charles Albert

FERGUSON, Charles Albert. Philadelphia 6.7.1921 — Palo Alto 2.9.1998. U.S. Indologist (Bengali Scholar) and Linguist. Professor in Stanford. Studies at University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia: B.A. 1942, A.M. 1943, Ph.D. 1945. In 1946-55 Sci. Linguist, Near Eastern Languages at Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. Department of State. In 1955-59 Lecturer in Linguistics at Harvard, then at Stanford University: from 1967 Professor of Linguistics there. Married (divorced), two children. He was one of the founders of sociolinguistics. Also interested in Semitic (M.A. on Moroccan Arabic, later fieldwork in Ethiopia).

Publications: Diss. The phonology and morphology of standard colloquial Bengali. MS. 1945.

Ed. with J. J. Gumperz: Linguistic Diversity in South Asia. Studies in Regional, Social and Functional Variation. 8+118 p. International Journal of American Linguistics III:26:3, 1960.

Articles on Bengali in JAOS, Language, etc., e.g. “Diglossia”, Word 15, 1959, 325-340; with M. Chowdhury, “The Phonems of Bengali”, Language 36, 1962, 22-59.

Also wrote on Semitic, linguistics, etc.

Sources: Dir. of Am. Sch. 8th ed. 3; R.K. Belnap, Encyclop. of Linguistics 2005, 331-333; *J. Fishman, Journal of Sociolinguistics 4, 2000, 121-128; *Th. Huebner, Language in Society 28, 1999, 431-437; *Fishman, Joshua, et al. (eds.), The Fergusonian impact: in honor of Charles A. Ferguson on the occasion of his 65th birthday. Contributions to the sociology of language 42. Berlin 1986; briefly Wikipedia.

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