Papers from the Thirteenth International Conference on Methods in Dialectology, 2008
Edited By Barry Heselwood and Clive Upton
Foreword by David Britain xi
Foreword The International Conference on Methods in Dialectology is THE truly global meeting for those interested in language variation. It brings together specialists from all over the world and from all traditions of dialectology and its neighbouring disciplines – it is therefore the only forum where, for example, North American variationists can rub shoulders with Finnish traditional dialectologists and researchers from the Japanese dialectological tradition, where dialect dictionaries meet advanced computerised cartography, and where Varbrul meets vernacular dialect literature. And, as the title of the conference suggests, it is one of the only regularly occurring linguistics conferences that foregrounds methodological concerns, so crucial to good research, yet so rarely given the prominence they deserve in the published academic literature. As the conference was to be held in England, then it was especially appropriate that it should take place at the University of Leeds, which has, more than any other university in the country, the right to call itself the home of English dialectology. It was from Leeds, of course, that the Survey of English Dialects was launched over 50 years ago, a survey that remains to this day the only systematic nationwide account of how England spoke. This volume, edited by Barry Heselwood and Clive Upton, brings together a selection of the papers presented at the conference that took place in August 2008, reflecting both the diversity of approaches, traditions and speech communities as well as the healthy balance of method and theory that we have come to expect from the...
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