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a section of linguistics that deals with dialects. In analyzing a dialectal language in its territorial variation, all the linguistic features in the system—phonetic, grammatical, word-forming, and lexical—are considered. Common elements, which belong to all the dialects, as well as distinctive elements, which are present in only a few of them, are distinguished.

Dialectal differences are the primary object of dialectological study; a hierarchy of the dialectal differences pertaining to the various levels of the language system, their place on the particular level, and the interaction among the levels are established. The division of a language into dialects is the second main division of dialectology. In the opinion of the Romance dialectologists of the Paris and neo-Italian schools, only the boundaries between the individual dialectal phenomena and their projection on a map actually exist; these boundaries are isoglosses, which do not form any kind of unit, and therefore dialects cannot be distinguished. German and Swiss dialectologists have shown that dialects are a real phenomenon and that they have a nucleus and a border zone, or “zone of vibration,” represented by a bundle of isoglosses. Soviet dialectologists also hold such views, giving special consideration to the elaboration of principles for selecting typical isoglosses, those that are the most essential for the dialectal division of a language. Their work has resulted in the creation of a new dialectological map of the Russian language.

Descriptive dialectology is concerned with the study of dialects in their contemporary state; its primary research methods are the monographic study of a dialect or dialectal phenomenon and the methods of linguistic geography. Historical dialectology deals with dialects in their historical development; its main methods are the study of literary monuments in combination with a retrospective examination of modern dialectal data. Historical dialectology also uses extralinguistic facts, such as data from history, archaeology, ethnography, and social and cultural history; dialectological data are in turn used by these sciences. Dialectology is one of the most important sources for the study of the history of a language, since phenomena that have been lost from the literary language and that are not reflected in written monuments are often preserved in dialects. The interrelation between literary language and dialects has differed in various countries and eras, but throughout its history literary language has always felt the influence of dialects and has been enriched by them.

As late as the 19th century, dialectal features were viewed as deviations from the standard. In the early 19th century, interest in folk culture, including folk speech, increased; during this period dialectology was still not distinguished sufficiently clearly from ethnography and folklore. Toward the end of the 19th century a great deal of data was collected about many languages, and a new stage in the development of dialectology was beginning; linguistic geography was emerging. In the 20th century, dialectological atlases of various national languages and regional atlases have been created, work has been done on atlases of closely related languages, questions dealing with the theory of linguistic geography have been treated, and the summarization of the large amount of dialectal material presented in the atlases has begun.


Avanesov, R. I. Ocherki russkoi dialektologii, part 1. Moscow, 1949.
Zhylko, F. T. Narysy z dialektolohii ukrains’koi movy, 2nd ed. Kiev, 1966.
Zhirmunskii, V. M. Natsional’nyi iazyk i sotsial’nye dialekty. Leningrad, 1936.
Zhirmunskii, V. M. Nemetskaia dialektologiia. Moscow-Leningrad, 1956.
Narysy pa belaruskai dyialektalohii. Edited by R. I. Avanesov. Minsk, 1964.
Russkaia dialektologiia, 2nd ed. Edited by R. I. Avanesov and V. G. Orlova. Moscow, 1965.
Russkaia dialektologiia. Edited by P. S. Kuznetsov. Moscow, 1971.


References in periodicals archive ?
Before analysis of the PTRs is carried out, it is first necessary to establish that the PTRs are a suitably local source for dialect study, considering Kristensson's (2001b: 64) statement that "a basic tenet in historical dialectology is to rely only on such forms as were taken down locally by people living at the place and are preserved in originals or copies very close to the originals".
Maps have a hidden potential to reveal unknown spatial patterns and trends and the process does not require any specific technological skills on the part of the user, who may be well versed in the target language and in traditional dialectology.
but also in domains that were easily left out of consideration in traditional dialectology, such as syntax and discourse (see especially Macaulay's paper).
New historical theories are also covered, including Dialectology, Sociolinguistics, Pragmatics, Corpus Linguistics, Information Structuring, and Actuation/Change from Below.
This text is an introductory discussion of the Italian dialects and Italian dialectology for students, primarily in North America, with little or no background in linguistics.
The recipient of the 2006 UOSA Outstanding Faculty Award and the 1998 Cecil Woods Memorial Teaching Excellence Award, his major research interests are phonetics, phonology, dialectology, Chinese teaching methodology, and translation theory.
As Cortelazzo has noted for Italian dialectology and implicitly for Romance linguistics in general, we are still not prepared to initiate the task of establishing universal connections (Varvaro 270).
Overall, this volume is an excellent contribution to the field of Arabic dialectology, and will be of particular interest to Arabists, Semiticists, dialectologists, and sociolinguists.
They cover the historical and descriptive grammar of Persian, Middle Persian, non-standard New Persian, literary New Persian, and dialectology.
This book is the result of the collaboration over many years of these two authors--one a linguist specializing in Shina grammar and dialectology, and the other a native-speaking writer of Kohistani Shina and a development professional.
8) In Estonian dialectology the dialects are divided into sub-dialects according to the borders of the historical parishes (see Pajusalu, Hennoste, Niit, Pall, Viikberg 2002 : 46; Pajusalu 2003 : 231).
Teaching about the Other Italian Languages: Dialectology in the Italian Curriculum.