Seeing Influences on Verbal Variation
Chambers & Trudgill aimed in their book, Dialectology, (1998: 187) to fuse traditional dialectological research with modern sociolinguistics, and their book is a major step in that research program. But an analytical gap has remained. While sociolinguistics has mostly employed factorial designs to assess the importance of one or another social factor in the distribution of individual linguistic features, dialectology has emphasized the geographic analysis of aggregate linguistic differences, typically using regression designs with geography operationalized as distance. Wieling, Nerbonne & Baayen have shown in a 2011 PLoS ONE article how to use generalized additive modeling to simultaneously account for geographical, social and linguistic influences in single regression models. These require their own visualizations in the form of iso-lines representing geographic influence, and selected pairs of maps showing the varied distributions based on categorical distinctions.
Chambers JK, P Trudgill (1998) Dialectology. Cambridge, UK: CUP. 2nd ed.
Nerbonne J (2009) Data-Driven Dialectology. Language and Linguistics Compass 3(1): 175-198.
Wieling M, J Nerbonne & RH Baayen. (2011) Quantitative Social Dialectology: Explaining Linguistic Variation Geographically and Socially. PLoS ONE, 6(9): e23613.