Linguistic atlases and geographically-based resources

  • eWAVE: electronic World Atlas of Varieties of English
    From the announcement by Bernd Kortmann: “eWAVE was designed and compiled at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS) and the English Department of the University of Freiburg, Germany, between 2008 and 2011. eWAVE is an interactive database on morphosyntactic variation in spontaneous spoken English mapping 235 features from about a dozen domains of grammar in 48 varieties of English (traditional dialects, high-contact mother-tongue Englishes, and indigenized second-language Englishes) and 26 English-based Pidgins and Creoles in eight Anglophone world regions (Africa, Asia, Australia, British Isles, Caribbean, North America, Pacific, and the South Atlantic). It was compiled from descriptive materials, naturalistic corpus data, and native speaker knowledge by a team of 80 contributors, all leading experts in their fields, directed by Bernd Kortmann and Kerstin Lunkenheimer. eWAVE is unique not only in its coverage and user-friendliness, but also in being an open access resource. As such it has the potential for serving both as a teaching tool in academic teaching around the world and as an indispensable research tool by specialists in many different fields of linguistics, including creolistics, dialectology, dialect syntax, language change, language typology, sociolinguistics, second language acquisition, and the study of World Englishes and learner Englishes.”
  • Sounds Familiar? Accents and Dialects of the UK (British Library)
    This is a clickable map of the whole UK that takes you to annotated and transcribed audio files for the accents concerned, with a choice of date for the recordings:  1950s or 1990s.
  • The Cambridge Online Survey of World Englishes
    Bert Vaux writes: “It maps the responses using the google maps engine, which allows for interactive manipulation of the maps: zooming in, moving across the globe, and so on. … Currently the maps plot 50,000 responses from the United States, but once I have sufficient responses from the rest of the world I will generate new maps.”
  • BBC Voices page
    A nationwide project run in 2005 on contemporary British dialects (that is, all of the UK), with word maps, digitised speech samples, etc.
  • Accents of English from around the world (Edinburgh)
    INTUTE describes it as ‘a webpage that allows the user to compare the pronunciation of words between different dialects and varieties of English and some other Germanic languages. Equipped with a sound plug-in the user may listen to words in the many different forms available. Hovering over the IPA transcription of the word (or clicking it) returns the sound of the word in that particular variety. The site can be browsed by region, or by word, thus allowing different kinds of comparisons.’

This page last updated 10th January 2017.

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