The results of several quantitative analyses of an age-area survey along the Tokaido line in central Japan are reported in this paper.
The entire results of the field survey have been published in the form of an atlas of glottograms (age-area graphs) in 1991. Most figures showed geographical and generational differences, indicating on-going changes in dialects of the area. Not only standardization of the language but the spread of new dialect forms was also observed. Interesting results were obtained for individual forms. But observation of the various glottograms did not lead to systematic classification of the forms, and dialect classification or geographical division could not be easily done from numerous glottograms each consisting of nearly 700 informants. Analyses of the numerous words of the entire area are the next study to be carried out.
Here we present the results of the analysis for a group of items for which use or non-use of word-forms was asked. Several quantitative methods were applied to the data including Hayashi's quantificational theory Type 3, factor analysis, cluster analysis and the distribution gravity center method.
The Tokaido area is noted for its continuum of dialects. Many independent isoglosses have been pointed out along this busy communication route. But the multi-variate analyses successfully showed clear dialect division into three areas : Kanagawa-Shizuoka/Aichi-Gifu/ShigaKyoto-Osaka-Hyogo ; in other words, Tokyo/Nagoya/Kyoto-Osaka areas.This division partly matches the results of studies in the past.
The distribution gravity center method showed the areal and generational inclination of each form. Several new dialect forms now spreading along the Tokaido line could be easily detected by this method.
The quantitative methods showed overall distribution pattern in summarized forms. The application of several different methods to the same data also leads to a comparative assessment of the methods. Thus the analyses of the data contributed both to the interpretation of actual survey data and to a review of linguistic methodology.
The Linguistic Society of Japan