Dialects have not hitherto played a very prominent role in the field of endangered language documentation and research - and for understandable reasons. Given the large number of endangered languages, the work that needs to be done in this field is already overwhelming. Moreover, as even a so-called ‘small language’ area such as Dutch is fragmented into over 200 dialects, including dialects in the endangered language enterprise would lead to an explosion of varieties to be documented. However, this chapter argues that there are compelling reasons to include them. To make the documentation and analysis of dialects feasible, an online research infrastructure is needed, where linguists can store and access the relevant data and where they can co-operate in the description and analysis of these data. This chapter describes the European Dialect Syntax project (2005-2112) (hereafter, Edisyn), which attempts to establish a documentation and research infrastructure for the (endangered) dialects of Europe (and beyond). Its main focus is on syntactic variation. The new technology used by Edisyn provides access to large amounts of dialect data that were previously not available to the linguist.
Original languageEnglish
Title of book/volumeEndangered Languages and New Technologies
EditorsMari C. Jones
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)978-1-107-04959-8
Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Research areas

  • dialects, dialect syntax, european dialect syntax, language research infrastructure

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