2019 Volume 32 Issue 3 Pages 173-187
This paper surveys the trends in the use of questionnaire surveys in dialectology and sociolinguistics in overseas countries based on Dollinger (2015). The method, in which a fieldworker asks a series of questions according to a questionnaire, has been utilized since the beginning of dialectology in Europe in the latter half of the 19th century, together with the fieldwork interview method, where the fieldworker has more leeway in eliciting responses. As the methods reached the U.S., the latter method became the primary choice for major dialectological projects like the LAUSC, while the former held a supplementary, second-rate position. The use of questionnaire surveys declined further when variationist sociolinguistics, which advocates the use of natural speech in linguistics, was born in and gained force since the 1970s. The questionnaire survey is still used in dialectological surveys in other countries, and a series of sociodialectological researches in Canada since the 1990s have brought it back to the forefront. I discuss three important issues concerning the method: the levels of linguistic phenomena suited to it, late adoption (Boberg 2004), and Regionality Index (Chambers and Heisler 1999).