Dialectometry: A New Treatment of Dialectal Morphological Data
At the beginning of the twentieth century, Antoni M. Alcover (1862-1932), the
founder of Catalan dialectology (Perea 2004a), embarked on a dialectal research
project aiming to compile the conjugation of 75 regular and irregular verbs from
149 localities in the Catalan-speaking area. The study was published between 1929 and 1933, under the title of Laftexi6 verbal en els dialectes catalans. The result is a complete, homogeneous, and systematic corpus of almost half a million verb forms. The data, collected between 1906 and 1928, reflect the status of the morphology of Catalan verbs at the beginning of the twentieth century.
The results of processing the information through a database which allowed
rapid access to information were published in hardcopy and on CD-ROM (Perea
1999, 2004b). Later a computer program was designed in orderto use these data to make computerized maps (Perea 2001). Both programs have been updated in 2005 (Perea 2005). The result of mapping is an atlas of the Catalan linguistic domain, which presents a thorough study of verb morphology. The object of this paper is to present a new treatment of Alcover's verbal data by using a quantitative approach. Applying the methodology of Hans Goebl (GoebI1989, 1993), dialectometry gives the possibility of re-examining the specific realizations and considering the data from a general point of view. Here we limit our study to the forms of the first conjugation.