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Horizontal and vertical variation in Swiss German morphosyntax

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Contribution to book (peer-reviewed)
Author Stoeckle Philipp,
Project Modellierung morphosyntaktischer Raumbildung im Schweizerdeutschen (SynMod)
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Contribution to book (peer-reviewed)

Book The future of dialects
Editor , Côté Marie-Hélène
Publisher Language Science Press, Berlin
Page(s) 195 - 215
ISBN 978-3-946234-18-0
Title of proceedings The future of dialects
DOI 10.17169/langsci.b81.150

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


This paper deals with the question of how areas with different syntactic variability can be identified. It uses data from the Syntactic Atlas of German-speaking Switzerland (SADS) which uses multiple informants in each survey location. As a starting point the well-known doubling construction with the verb aafange ‘begin’ is used to illustrate how the different regions differ with respect to inter-personal variation and how the different variants can be mapped in terms of predominance, i.e. to what extent they co-occur or compete with the other variants. As a quantitative measure, the intensity value of the dominant variant (i.e. the agreement rate between those informants providing the dominant variant as their variant) is used as the basis to create a so-called “variation index”. This technique is applied to a larger set of SADS data, and the results are mapped onto the survey points indicating the syntactic variability for each location. To assess the validity of the method, several subgroups are created which turn out to correlate with the whole data set at a significant level. By performing a hot spot analysis, regional clusters of high/low syntactic variability can be identified.