Twitalectology, in short, was a project which used Twitter posts to create dialect maps. Linguists have been interested in studying how dialects vary and evolve for decades, but studying dialects on a large scale has traditionally required years of travel, data collection, and analysis. Twitalectology’s goal was to make this process much quicker and simpler for certain dialectal features, such as words and phrases.
Twitalectology was originally conducted in 2011; since then, several researchers have gone on to conduct far more exhaustive and extensive studies of language use on Twitter. If Twitalectology interests you, you may also be interested in the work of researchers like Jack Grieve, Jacob Eisenstein, Tyler Schnoebelen, and Allison Shapp.
- Slides for the debut of Twitalectology, presented at the 2012 American Dialect Society annual meeting
- “Examining Regional Variation Through Online Geotagged Corpora“, my 2013 graduate thesis on Twitalectology and its results
- Python 2 script for collecting and processing Twitalectology data
- “Regional English, Tweet by Tweet“, New York Times
- “American dialects from A to Z“, Boston Globe
- “#Soda or #Pop? Regional Language Quirks Get Examined on Twitter“, TIME
- “Linguistics of Food“, Good Food (KCRW radio)
- “Soda, pop or Coke? Words Northwest natives use“, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Unfortunately, the deprecation of Google Fusion Tables means that the interactive maps previously shown on this page are no longer available. If you’re interested in taking a closer look at the data, feel free to review the links above or send me an email. Thanks!