Mapping is a perhaps not entirely undisputed method in linguistic geography, but a well-established and proven one. It is equally for the documentation and the visualisation of spatial relations (cf. the contributions in Lameli 2010
). The usual methods differ clearly in their conciseness. In the case of the so-called 'analytic' maps linguistic (part) utterances are represented so that the documentation is mainly in the foreground; the discovery of the spatial relations between the documented forms is left up to the reader. In the so-called dot distribution maps, in comparison, the spatial relations between single aspects of expression are directly expressed by the 'synthetic' symbol allocation. Quantitative relations can only be represented this way. The online mapping of VerbaAlpina occurs on a geocoded basis and combines both methods: it shows at first sight 'synthetic' maps, but allows on closer inspection access on the (part) utterance after a click on the symbol.
The heuristic potential of mapping is considerable. That is the reason why VerbaAlpina offers the option to its users to combine and accumulate different data classes from one category (e.g. several base types) or from different categories (e.g. extralinguistic and linguistic data) on synoptic maps.
(auct. Thomas Krefeld – trad. Susanne Oberholzer)
Alfred Lameli/Roland Kehrein/Stefan Rabanus (2010): Language and Space. Vol. 2: Language Mapping. An international Handbook of Linguistic Variation, Berlin/New York, De Gruyter
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