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dc.contributor.authorKnoll, Samantha Korrinn
dc.description.abstractAccording to Kretzschmar, the linguistics of linguistic structure can be differentiated from the linguistics of speech based on the idea of the linguistic continuum: “the continuously variable behavior of individual speakers” (Linguistics 52). In other words, language is always highly variable because people make choices (often unconsciously) about what they say or how they say it. Although living human languages are constantly shifting and are not static, speech is “not chaotic or unmanageable”, but instead exhibits regularities across geographic and social variables (Kretzschmar, Linguistics 52). Linguistic features demonstrate a remarkable property, in that “there will be few realizations that occur very frequently, and a great many realizations that occur only infrequently”, which, when graphed, appears as an asymptotic hyperbolic curve, or A-curve (Kretzschmar, Linguistics 83). I examine in detail twelve lexical items from existing LAMSAS survey data, and the frequency counts of these lexical items exhibit characteristics of the A-curve, even when different subsets of the entire population are examined in isolation. Kretzschmar describes complex systems as “open and not at equilibrium,” and showing “self-organization and the emergence of order” (Dialectology). These systems are also made up of many components interacting with one another, and they exhibit non-linear distribution as well as scaling (Kretzschmar, Dialectology). Although human language exists in many forms, it varies systematically and conforms to the principles of the theory of complex systems.
dc.subjectComplex Systems
dc.subjectChaos Theory
dc.subjectLinguistic Atlas
dc.subjectUniversity of Georgia
dc.titleData from the LAMSAS project
dc.title.alternativehow language varies in systematic ways
dc.description.departmentLinguistics Program
dc.description.advisorPaula Warrington
dc.description.advisorWilliam Kretzschmar
dc.description.committeePaula Warrington
dc.description.committeeWilliam Kretzschmar

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