Visualising Perceptual Linguistic Data
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The English language has many dialects and they are distributed throughout the United Kingdom. Many people know of the existence of these dialects, although they have differing ideas of where they are spoken. This project’s aim was to develop GIS tools to compile, manipulate and examine people’s geographical perceptions of dialect areas in Britain with a form of visualisation. The project builds on previous research (Montgomery, 2006) which asked people from various survey locations in Northern England (Kingston Upon Hull, Crewe and Carlisle) to draw boundaries on paper maps indicating where they thought different dialects or accents were spoken. The informants were 273 in total with an average age of 19 (16-24 years old) both girls and boys. After the collection of the paper maps, all the boundaries were digitised and compiled in a final raster to show the different percentages of agreement on three specific dialects (“Manc”, “Scouse” and “Brummie”) across survey locations. Except the compiled gradient map an additional spatial Analysis was applied to examine possible relations between the dialects and the survey locations. In order that this method is useable for those with no experience of GIS, a user guide was designed to enable these people to perform similar analysis without difficulties. Feedback was sought from a selection of users and this led the project to have useful conclusions for future development.