Computer simulation of Dialect Feature Diffusion
Professor William Kretzschmar has recently taken up a part-time chair in English Language in the School of Critical Studies. A teacher of English and Linguistics he is the Harry and Jane Wilson Professor in Humanities at the University of Georgia and University of Oulu.
Professor Kretzchmar is the editor of the Linguistic Atlas Project, a national centre for survey research on American English. His major publications include The Linguistic of Speech (Cambridge, 2009), the Oxford Dictionary of Pronunciation for Current English (Oxford, 2001), Introduction to Quantitative Analysis of Linguistic Survey Data (Sage, 1996), and the Handbook of the Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South Atlantic States (Chicago, 1994).
His current research and teaching focuses on American English, language variation, and computer methods for description, analysis, and presentation of language data from literary and non-literary sources.
He and his team use computer simulation to show how speech adapts. Their simulation runs hundreds of iterations that correspond to the daily interactions of speakers over time, and tracks the patterns that emerge showing regional distribution. The data is also compared to real survey data allowing the team to validate the results.
Listen to Professor Kretzschmar explain his approach in his talk Computer Simulation of Dialect Feature Diffusion.