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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Context suggests he addresses Ellis, Skeat, or another university-educated dialectologist.
In fact, given the historic lack of educational opportunities in Italy for many Italian emigrants (especially those who left Italy before the Second World War), many never even spoke it as a second language either; rather, many members of the diaspora descend from ancestors who were what Italian dialectologists call monolingual dialettofoni ('dialectophones').
First, he considered him a hack dialectologist, and listed example after example in which Parker's forms were either wrong or improbable - and no doubt many of them were wrong; Parker himself published corrections to any number of them in his notes in the late 1890s, often claiming that they were the result of sloppy copying work by Giles, even though early on he had said he thought that "thanks to the scrupulous care of the revisor .
An accomplished Arabic dialectologist and an equally accomplished historian of Middle Eastern drama have joined forces here to publish a fascinating collection of dramatic texts in Egyptian colloquial Arabic from the early twentieth century.
Joe is a good example of the rural dialect speaker/informant that Victorian dialectologists sought samples of speech from.
According to dialectologists, regional dialects are specific to geographical areas.
For example, school nurses could provide a regular screening and refer high-risk students to general practitioners and dialectologists. Multiple approaches should be used to maintain energy balance in developing children, including nutritional education and physical activity.
The North America CGM market would continue to lead CGM market throughout the forecast period, majorly due to the sustained payers' access, better affordability and increasing confidence of CGMS among dialectologists
Depending on the response of the communities an OPD with specialists such as Dialectologists, neurologists, psychiatrists etc.
It may refer to the Dutch dialects of the two provinces in Belgium, West and East Flanders, although dialectologists consider Westvlaams as pure Flemish, and Ostvlaams as a subtle mix of Flemish and Brabant.
The routine assessment of the diabetic complications should include the evaluation of the dementia preferably using Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination (ACE-III) scores and information processing should also be assessed using simple and choice reaction times by the dialectologists while their patients visiting them for follow up.
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.