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Geographic information systems and perceptual dialectology: a method for processing draw-a-map data

  • Chris Montgomery (a1) and Philipp Stoeckle (a2)


This article presents a new method for processing data gathered using the “draw-a-map” task in perceptual dialectology (PD) studies. Such tasks produce large numbers of maps containing many lines indicating nonlinguists’ perceptions of the location and extent of dialect areas. Although individual maps are interesting, and numerical data relating to the relative prominence of dialect areas can be extracted, an important value of the draw-a-map task is in aggregating data. This was always an aim of the contemporary PD method, although the nature of the data has meant that this has not always been possible. Here, we argue for the use of geographic information systems (GIS) in order to aggregate, process, and display PD data. Using case studies from the United Kingdom and Germany, we present examples of data processed using GIS and illustrate the future possibilities for the use of GIS in PD research.


Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Chris Montgomery, The School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, 2.27 Jessop West, 1 Upper Hanover Street, Sheffield S3 7RA, UK. Email


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Geographic information systems and perceptual dialectology: a method for processing draw-a-map data

  • Chris Montgomery (a1) and Philipp Stoeckle (a2)


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