Article

Evidence from surveys and atlases in the history of the English language

William A. Kretzschmar and Merja Stenroos

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of English

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199922765
Published online November 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199922765.013.0012

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

 Evidence from surveys and atlases in the history of the English language

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This article assesses the evidence provided by linguistic surveys and atlases in the history of the English language. It deals with two kinds of surveys: those which involved living informants when they were carried out but now provide historical evidence, and those historical surveys for which the informants are written texts. It focuses on two projects that represent the two kinds of survey: the Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South Atlantic States (LAMSAS, Georgia) which covers the mid-twentieth century, and the Middle English Grammar Project (Stavanger and Glasgow), which covers the period 1150–1500. In modern survey research, “representativeness” comes from the application of randomized survey methods in sampling, so that the sample is not biased towards any identifiable segment of the population.

Keywords: evidence; linguistics; surveys; atlases; history; English; informants; written texts; Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South Atlantic States; Middle English Grammar Project; representativeness

Article.  5027 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Historical and Diachronic Linguistics

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