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Modeling transitions between syntactic variants in the dialect continuum


Jeszenszky, Péter; Weibel, Robert (2016). Modeling transitions between syntactic variants in the dialect continuum. In: The 19th AGILE International Conference on Geographic Information Science, Helsinki (Finnland), 14 June 2016 - 17 June 2016, online.

Abstract

Although linguists have thoroughly studied the formation of language areas for given dialectal phenomena, little quantitative research has been conducted on how these areas relate to each other, and how the transition between these dominance areas of dialectal variants can be modelled. We propose gradient estimation methods used in GIScience to answer the key question to the analysis of such dialectal boundaries: to what extent we can find crisp boundaries in a dialectal landscape (termed ‘isoglosses’ in linguistics) or whether the transitions are rather gradual. Our methods are also aimed at the comparison of these boundaries. We apply trend surface analysis and regression analysis to Swiss German syntax data and test our methods on dialect phenomena with typical variation exhibiting the spatial competition of two variants. We conclude that subdividing the linguistic landscape of the given competing variants into three subregions (two dominance zones for each of the two variants and a transition zone between them) and calculating regression models in these subregions lets us quantitatively compare their relationships to each other and to other linguistic phenomena.

Abstract

Although linguists have thoroughly studied the formation of language areas for given dialectal phenomena, little quantitative research has been conducted on how these areas relate to each other, and how the transition between these dominance areas of dialectal variants can be modelled. We propose gradient estimation methods used in GIScience to answer the key question to the analysis of such dialectal boundaries: to what extent we can find crisp boundaries in a dialectal landscape (termed ‘isoglosses’ in linguistics) or whether the transitions are rather gradual. Our methods are also aimed at the comparison of these boundaries. We apply trend surface analysis and regression analysis to Swiss German syntax data and test our methods on dialect phenomena with typical variation exhibiting the spatial competition of two variants. We conclude that subdividing the linguistic landscape of the given competing variants into three subregions (two dominance zones for each of the two variants and a transition zone between them) and calculating regression models in these subregions lets us quantitatively compare their relationships to each other and to other linguistic phenomena.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Event End Date:17 June 2016
Deposited On:15 Nov 2016 14:25
Last Modified:15 Nov 2016 19:30
Publisher:Association of Geographic Information Laboratories in Europe
ISBN:978-3-319-33782-1
Additional Information:Titel des Proceedings: Geospatial Data in a Changing World
Free access at:Official URL. An embargo period may apply.
Official URL:https://agile-online.org/index.php/conference/proceedings/proceedings-2016

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