• Spatial Visualization and Language Documentation

      Hildebrandt, Kristine (2016-06)
      Maps and atlases (collections of maps) can be an important and extremely useful part of the toolkit for examining and interpreting variation and change in language documentation and in projects aimed at maintenance, promotion or revitalization. They allow for orderly and illuminating generalizations to be drawn from often unruly distributions of patterns. They also allow for a birds-eye view of patterns across large populations or large geographic and temporal spaces. Although maps cannot tell the whole story behind languages and varieties, they are one way in which we can provide context or approach explanation for interesting or unexpected patterns or phenomena. Traditionally, map-making has been the sole domain of cartographers or those with large grant budgets, but with new advances in free, shareable technology that is easy to learn, interactive spatial visualization of language data is possible at all levels of organization, from multicollaborator to the individual. This four-part workshop will introduce participants to the ways that maps and atlases have been used in language research and community outreach.