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Dialect Typology: Recent Advances

  • Melanie RöthlisbergerEmail author
  • Benedikt Szmrecsanyi
Living reference work entry

Abstract

This chapter provides an overview of recent innovative approaches that focus on the distributional patterns of linguistic phenomena in dialects across different languages. We set the stage by discussing a number of geographical factors that are assumed in the literature to have a bearing on the structural make-up of different languages and dialects such as world region, altitude, contact with speakers of other languages or dialects, etc. We then move on to sketch the extent to which dialects of a language exhibit common features (e.g., “vernacular universals” à la Chambers 2004) and identify structural dichotomies and continua that are regularly invoked when it comes to explaining the structural diversity of languages, namely, analyticity versus syntheticity, explicitness versus economy, complexity versus simplicity, and innovativeness versus conservativeness, all within the context of geographic space.

Keywords

Variation Dialectology Sociolinguistic typology Vernacular features Areality 

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ZurichZürichSwitzerland
  2. 2.KU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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