Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Catalan geolinguistics and new technical procedures

Maria Pilar Perea


New technologies are helping researchers to apply new methods to the treatment of dialectal data, accomplishing a variety of research objectives in the stages of data compilation, data processing and the presentation of results. In this regard, dialectology has at least two aspects: a) obtaining new data to learn contemporary linguistic variation; and b) retrieving earlier material to facilitate the study of linguistic change and create new opportunities to compare such data with present-day results. The main aim of this paper is to show different techniques applied to various sorts of earlier dialectal materials in order to improve the cartographical representation of the data. For the Catalan dialects, a process of mapping has been applied to data gathered by Antoni M. Alcover roughly a century ago in La flexió verbal en els dialectes catalans (“Verbal flexion”), which is a complete corpus of the verb morphology of Catalan. We present new resources applied to this dialectal data, using dialectometrical calculations with nearly half a million verbal forms and retrieving the vocal sound of morphological forms through voice synthesis. In addition, we show a new pattern of dynamic cartography that combines early and modern lexical data. Referring not only to space but also to time we use two axes of linguistic representation and, because of linguistic change, the representation of the words in space is layered. For that reason, we can speak of “dialectal stratigraphy”. An important advantage of the three procedures described in this paper is that the methodology can be adapted to other sorts of dialectal data for other languages.

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