Geographic Information Systems and Social Networks

Consequences for the Study of Linguistic Variation

Invited Speakers

Roberta D'ALESSANDRO (Utrecht University)


November 30th, 2017

Aula B7/1056, Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres, UAB

In the last years, the study of linguistic variation has widened its empirical scope, both quantitatively and qualitatively. This is in part due to the fact that the evolution of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and the appearance of the emergent social networks, which present themselves as potential tools to detect and analyze evidence. These developments allow us to manage a large amount of data and offer a fine-grained analysis of the frequency and nature of current linguistic variation, making it necessary to reconsider the relation between such methods and the existing theories to approach language variation.

In this context, this workshop focuses on the consequences of applying geographic information systems and social networks to the study of linguistic variation. The particular topics to be addressed in the workshop include, but are not limited to, questions like the following:

− How can GIS help us improve our understanding of linguistic variation?

− How do GIS contribute to the use of traditional methods in dialectology (questionnaires, interviews, polls, etc.)?

− What is the impact of social networks in the study of phenomena such as language contact or code switching?

− What is the best way to collect and classify the data obtained through social networks?

− How does the emergence of big-data driven approaches interact with theoretical approaches to linguistic variation?

− What is the relation between our methodological choices and the varying hypotheses of linguistic theory?

The workshop is framed within the ''Mapping Internet's Linguistic Variation (PROVAIN)'' project, funded by the Fundación BBVA.