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Viewpoint from Sociolinguistics and Contact Linguistics: On the Role of Dialectology in Modern Linguistics

Authors
  • Escobar, Anna María
Type
Published Article
Journal
Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics
Publisher
De Gruyter Mouton
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2008
Volume
1
Issue
1
Pages
197–210
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/shll-2008-1011
Source
De Gruyter
License
Yellow

Abstract

In the latter decades of the 20th century, historical, typological, dialectological, and sociolinguistic research all contributed to demonstrating the limitations of focusing exclusively on language-internal synchronic data, and these and other disciplines that share a bottom-up perspective acquired respectability as participants in theorybuilding. In the 21st century, there is a renewed appreciation of the potential for such research to address questions that are central to linguistic theory. Dialectology is today a field in which the social changes occurring in human societies are naturally taken into consideration, and includes not only the study of dialects in the traditional sense but also the study of social dialects and second-language varieties. Dialectology has thus evolved into a rich and complex field which is ideally positioned to make important contributions to the process of building theories of language that are firmly based on empirical data.

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