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The Handbook of Dialectology

Charles Boberg (Editor), John Nerbonne (Editor), Dominic Watt (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-118-82755-0
632 pages
July 2017, Wiley-Blackwell
The Handbook of Dialectology (1118827554) cover image


The Handbook of Dialectology provides an authoritative, up-to-date and unusually broad account of the study of dialect, in one volume. Each chapter reviews essential research, and offers a critical discussion of the past, present and future development of the area.
  • The volume is based on state-of-the-art research in dialectology around the world, providing the most current work available with an unusually broad scope of topics
  • Provides a practical guide to the many methodological and statistical issues surrounding the collection and analysis of dialect data
  • Offers summaries of dialect variation in the world’s most widely spoken and commonly studied languages, including several non-European languages that have traditionally received less attention in general discussions of dialectology
  • Reviews the intellectual development of the field, including its main theoretical schools of thought and research traditions, both academic and applied
  • The editors are well known and highly respected, with a deep knowledge of this vast field of inquiry
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Table of Contents


Charles Boberg, John Nerbonne and Dominic Watt


Section 1: Theory (section editor: Dominic Watt)

Section Introduction. 

Dominic Watt

1. Dialectology, Philology and Historical Linguistics. 

Raymond Hickey

2. The Dialect Dictionary. 

Jacques Van Keymeulen

3. The Dialect Atlas. 

Bill Kretzschmar

4. Structural Dialectology and the Study of Sound Change. 

Matthew Gordon

5. Dialectology and Generative Linguistic Theory. 

Frans Hinskens

6. Sociodialectology.

Tore Kristiansen

7. Dialectometry. 

Hans Goebl

8. Dialect Contact and New Dialect Formation.  

David Britain

9. Dialect Change: Diffusion, Leveling and Convergence. 

Peter Auer

10. Perceptual Dialectology and Subjective Evaluation of Dialects. 

Dennis Preston

11. Dialect Intelligibility. 

Charlotte Gooskens

12. Applied Dialectology: Dialect Coaching, Dialect Reduction and Forensics. 

Dominic Watt


Section 2: Method (section editor: John Nerbonne)

Section Introduction. 

John Nerbonne

13. Dialect Sampling Methods.

Ronald Macaulay

14. The Dialect Questionnaire.

Carmen Llamas

15. Written Dialect Surveys.

Jack Chambers

16. Dialectological Field Interviews.

Guy Bailey

17. Corpus-based Approaches to Dialect Study. 

Lieselotte Anderwald and Benedikt Szmrecsanyi

18. Acoustic Phonetic Dialectology.

Erik Thomas

19. Computational Dialectology.

Wilbert Heeringa and Jelena Prokić

20. Dialect Maps.

Stefan Rabanus

21. Electronic Media and Dialect Study.

Jacob Eisenstein

22. Regression Analysis of Categorical Data.

John Paolillo

23. The Statistical Analysis of Aggregate Dialect Differences.

John Nerbonne and Martijn Wieling

24. Spatial Statistics for Dialectology.

Jack Grieve


Section 3: Data (section editor: Charles Boberg)

Section Introduction. 

Charles Boberg

25. Dialects of British and Southern Hemisphere English. 

Kevin Watson

26. Dialects of North American English. 

Charles Boberg

27. Dialects of German, Dutch and the Scandinavian Languages. 

Sebastian Kürschner

28. Dialects of French. 

Damien Hall

29. Dialects of Italy.

Tullio Telmon

30. Dialects of Spanish and Portuguese. 

John Lipski

31. Dialects of the Slavic Languages.

Vladimir Zhobov and Ronelle Alexander

32. Dialects of Arabic. 

Enam Al-Wer and Rudolf de Jong

33. Dialects of Indic. 

Ashwini Deo

34. Dialects of Chinese. 

Chaoju Tang

35. Dialects of Japanese. 

Takuichiro Onishi

36. Dialects of Malay/Indonesian.  

Sander Adelaar

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Author Information

Charles Boberg is Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. His research focuses on variation and change in North American English, particularly Canadian English and accents in film and television. He is the author of The English Language in Canada: Status, History and Comparative Analysis (2010) and a co-author of the Atlas of North American English (with William Labov and Sharon Ash, 2006).

John Nerbonne worked at HP Labs and the German AI Center before becoming Professor of Digital Humanities at the University of Groningen in 1993. Nerbonne works in quantitative  linguistics, using computational and statistical methods.  He is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, was president of the Association for Computational Linguistics in 2002, and a Humboldt prize winner in 2013. 

Dominic Watt is Senior Lecturer in Forensic Speech Science at the University of York, UK. His research interests are in forensic phonetics and linguistics, speech perception, sociophonetics, and language and identity studies. He is co-author of English Accents and Dialects (with Arthur Hughes and Peter Trudgill, 2012), and co-editor of Language and Identities (with Carmen Llamas, 2010) and Language, Borders and Identity (2014).
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