ELL358 : Dialectology past, present and future

Convener(s): Dr Chris Montgomery


General Information

This module will allow students to learn about and critically appraise dialectological methods past and present. Students will use Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in order to map and interpret linguistic and social data. This will enable them to understand how dialectology will evolve as a discipline through the completion of spatially sensitive analyses of the relationship between language use and geography. Students will learn how to select appropriate linguistic features for analysis by using a range of linguistic and non-linguistic materials and use these data alongside census and other national data in order to inform their work.

NB. This module with require students to have some basic computing knowledge. This means some familiarity with Microsoft Excel/other spreadsheet packages, knowledge of computer file types (e.g. ZIP files), knowledge of the locations of stored files, and the ability to adapt quickly to new pieces of software.


The module will be taught in one two-hour block of teaching per week. It will move from traditional lecture/seminar style teaching involving presentation and discussion in the first half of the module, to lab-based classes in the second half. These lab-based sessions will provide hands-on experience of working with Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in order to examine dialectological patterns and present sophisticated analyses of data. Various non-linguistic datasets will also be introduced, such as census data which can be used to support linguistic analysis. Students will be given support to develop their analyses for the second assessment in the lab sessions, and will also be able to book one-to-one meetings to discuss their assessment plans and progress.


Annotated bibliography (30%), Research Report based on GIS analysis of linguistic and social data (70%).

Contact Details

0114 222 8470


Information last changed: Thursday 07th of April 2016 :: 01:16:45 PM (BST)

Please note: This module may or may not run in any individual session. Please check with the course convener.


The University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK