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The Oxford Guide to the Romance Languages$
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Adam Ledgeway and Martin Maiden

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199677108

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199677108.001.0001

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Romance linguistic geography and dialectometry

Romance linguistic geography and dialectometry

(p.73) Chapter 7 Romance linguistic geography and dialectometry
The Oxford Guide to the Romance Languages

Hans Goebl

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the diachronic and synchronic relation between language and space, critically considering some of the most important advances made within Romance linguistic geography and dialectometry. It reviews the early work of the dialect geographers in recording regional variation by means of detailed linguistic atlases and in tracing dialect areas, while reflecting upon the linguistic nature of the major discontinuities and their historical significance in explaining the fragmentation of Latin. The second part of the chapter concentrates on more recent taxometric and cartographic achievements of dialectometry in its quantitative investigations and interpretations of traditional linguistic atlases, exploring the non-coincidence of single areas and their surrounding isoglosses; difficulties in measuring the data of linguistic atlases; integration of quantitative methods with traditional qualitative geolinguistics; discovery of lower and higher ranking structural patterns concealed in traditional presentations of atlas data; and cartographic exploitation of similarity and distance matrices.

Keywords:   linguistic geography, dialectometry, atlases, dialect areas, discontinuities, taxometric, isoglosses, geolinguistics, similarity matrices, distance matrices

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