Dialectology—the study of variation in language rather than an invariant, homogenous grammar—lends itself quite naturally to computer assistance, both for the entry and maintenance of a database for quantitative analysis. This book is an introduction to the quantitative analysis of linguistic survey data featuring the Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South Atlantic States (LAMSAS). Serious quantification and large-scale application of statistics demand the ability to handle large amounts of data elicited in a broad survey with the efficiency of automation. Introduction to Quantitative Analysis of Linguistic Survey Data provides a detailed account of how to adapt LAMSAS to the needs of computerization, the mechanics involved in computerizing LAMSAS, how to analyze the data in the system, statistical testing, and more. Professionals and practitioners in linguistics will be able to analyze the frequency of variants more accurately using the methods detailed in this volume—which in turn will give them a more realistic view of a particular language culture.
The chapters in this innovative book introduce the quantitative analysis of linguistic survey data with specific reference to the Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South Atlantic States (LAMSAS). Topics covered include: the relation of sociolinguistics to the original conception of LAMSAS; the adaptation of LAMSAS to the needs of computerization and the research methods envisioned; the mechanics involved in computerizing LAMSAS; how to handle and analyze the data in the database management system; the creation of categories for analysis; and the logic of statistical testing.