Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Gabmap - a web application for dialectology

John Nerbonne, Rinke Colen, Charlotte Gooskens, Peter Kleiweg, Therese Leinonen


Gabmap is a web application aimed especially to facilitate explorations in quantitative dialectology — or dialectometry — by enabling researchers in dialectology to conduct computersupported explorations and calculations even if they have relatively little computational expertise. Gabmap creates various views of dialect data, from histograms of characters used to spot coding errors, to alignments of phonetic transcriptions used in measuring pronunciation distance, to colored multidimensional scaling plots intended to illustrate quantitative results insightfully. Many analyses are accompanied by facilities allowing researchers to probe further, e.g. seeking the most important linguistic bases of an areal division, or examining the results of clustering for statistical reliability. These are also intended to inform the critical discussion of quantitative techniques, i.e. a comparision between quantitative analyses and non-quantitative (qualitative) work. For this reason Gabmap also includes support for qualitative analyses, such as facilities to map the occurrence of individual features. The software is in use, and the source code is openly available.

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