This dialectometrical research has investigated three quantitative perspectives
on syntactic variation in Dutch dialects.
The first perspective shows how to quantify syntactic differences between
language varieties and classifies the Dutch dialect varieties based on a
measure of syntactic distance. This objective classification is compared
with-and highly resembles-the traditional, perceptual classification based
on subjective judgements. This approach also affirmatively answers the
question whether syntactic variation patterns are geographically coherent.
The second perspective describes how to quantify the degrees of association
between pronunciational, lexical and syntactic differences. This approach
reveals that the degrees of association among the linguistic levels of
pronunciation, lexis and syntax are genuine but modest. Also, syntactic and
pronunciational differences are not more strongly associated with one
another than either one is associated with lexical differences.
The third perspective demonstrates how to discover relevant associations
between syntactic variables using a data mining technique based on
geographical co-occurrences. This approach contributes to the validation of
existing typological hypotheses and facilitates the identification and
exploration of variable relationships in general.