From the ethnolinguistic point of view of VerbaAlpina, the basic types form the basis of the multilingual Alpine region. In the sense of a synthetic depiction, two different quantitative mapping functions are planned:
At first, the Alpine lexicon is particular interest. Its totality forms so to speak a fictitious ideal type which the single local dialects come close to more or less. The mapping of a gradual similarity corresponds to this; the gradual similarity was inspired by the representation of the champ gradient de la gasconité in the ALG 6.
Further, the relative similarity of all places among themselves is mapped by identifying the common basic types of any place and the ones of any other place as point of reference and displaying them, following the example set by the ASD.
(auct. Thomas Krefeld – trad. Susanne Oberholzer)
Séguy, Jean (1973): Atlas linguistique de la Gascogne, Paris, vol. 6
The uncovering of linguistic strata, the stratigraphy, presupposes the etymologisation. The etymologic comment starts from the basic type and pursues a triple goal:
- determination of the lexematic basis' language of origin;
- explanation of the unity of all types which share the basic type. The regularities of historical phonetics and the semantic plausibility of the underlying concept relations are crucial for this.
- reconstruction of borrowing paths if the basic type is spread in several language areas; as soon as the language of the etymon on the one hand and of the informant on the other hand do not match, language contact is automatically established.
For the inductive research of the cultural area, demographic and institutional data are interesting every time that they can be geo-referenced. Part of such data is information about the settlement history, especially regarding the membership to church or state institutions. Likewise communication, in particular pass roads, is of fundamental importance (cf. map).
Ecological as well as geophysical data are relevant in case they have a clear reference to the settlement history. This is evident for instance with regard to the vegetation zones which allow or require certain utilisations (e.g. the Alpine dairy requires elevations above the tree line (http://www.slf.ch/forschung_entwicklung/gebirgsoekosystem/themen/baumgrenze/index_EN).