Title

Difference Coefficients for Determining Dialect Relatedness

Date of Award

12-1-1975

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

Abstract

This paper presents a method of determining the degree of relatedness of the dialects of a language based on "difference coefficients" which are determined by assigning number values to the degree of feature difference between lexical items on survey word lists. Then a tentative phonological reconstruction of the Proto language '3^‘ft from which the dialects are descended was done using m '"■’t'-f - ' l ...•* 100 utterances on a standard survey word list in each of the ten dialects. The reconstruction is very tentative ... because of the limited amount of data available in each dialect.

A family tree was prepared using the innovations • ' • : :% f - t- *•' 5 *,-%*. • • ,• ... • - that various dialects shared in common as they descended from the proto language to their contemporary forms. Then the family tree prepared from the results obtained from the first method - that of determining relatedness by difference coefficient is compared with the, more commonly accepted as reliable, results obtained from the shared innovations.

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