Volume 21, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0172-8865
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9730
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Traditional dialectology took region as its primary and often its only independent variable. Because of numerous social changes, region is no longer the primary determinant of language variation, and contemporary (sociolinguistic) dialectology has expanded the number of independent variables. In Dialect Topography, we survey a representative population, and that population inevitably includes some subjects born outside the survey region. We want to know how these non-natives affect language use in the community. Admitting them thus requires us to implement some mechanism for identifying them in order to compare their language use to the natives. The mechanism is called the Regionality Index (RI). Subjects are ranked on a scale from 1 to 7, with the best representatives of the region (indigenes) receiving a score of 1, the poorest (interlopers) a score of 7, and subjects of intermediate degrees of representativeness in between. I look at three case studies in which RI is significant: bureau in Quebec City, running shoes in the Golden Horseshoe, and soft drink in Quebec City. These results introduce a new dimension to the study of language variation as a regional phenomenon and provide a framework for the integration of regionality as one independent variable among many in dialect studies. The RI provides, perhaps for the first time, an empirical basis for inferring the sociolinguistic effects of mobility.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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