New Tendencies in Geographical Dialectology

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The goal of this paper is to show that there is a principled way of capturing structural (i.e., qualitative) differences between dialects within a quantitative approach and that the result of applying such methodology to dialect grouping is more accurate than the one obtained on purely qualitative or quantitative grounds. We base our work on data compiled in a corpus of contemporary Catalan, the <i>Corpus Oral Dialectal</i> (COD), gathered with computerization in mind. We first present the characteristics of the COD as well as the main tenets of the quantitative dialectometrical methodology. We then show the kind of linguistic analysis we pursue to distinguish regular phonetic facts from underlying differences, and evaluate the consequences of such distinction for dialectometrics. Finally, we illustrate the results of our research by reviewing the dialectal classification of Valencian Catalan.


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