Advances in dialectometry

Martijn Wieling, John Nerbonne

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    Dialectometry applies computational and statistical analyses within dialectology, making work more easily replicable and understandable. This survey article first reviews the field briefly in order to focus on developments in the past five years. Dialectometry no longer focuses exclusively on aggregate analyses, but rather deploys various techniques to identify representative and distinctive features with respect to areal classifications. Analyses proceeding explicitly from geostatistical techniques have just begun. The exclusive focus on geography as explanation for variation has given way to analyses combining geographical, linguistic, and social factors underlying language variation. Dialectometry has likewise ventured into diachronic studies and has also contributed theoretically to comparative dialectology and the study of dialect diffusion. Although the bulk of research involves lexis and phonology, morphosyntax is receiving increasing attention. Finally, new data sources and new (online) analytical software are expanding dialectometry’s remit and its accessibility.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)243-264
    Number of pages22
    JournalAnnual Review of Linguistics
    Early online date28-Jul-2014
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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