Geo-linguistics is a methodology of plotting various linguistic dimensions on cartographic displays. When I started in language documentation there were not many resources for interdisciplinary cartographers. Maps are very useful, but potentially deceptive tools. I wrote a blog post in 2012 titled: “Types of Linguistic Maps: The Mapping of Linguistic Features and Researcher Interactivity.” At one time ranked within the top three hits (via Google) for linguistic maps and ranks first for “types of linguistic maps”. As a result it was cited several times in academic literature. (It’s interesting to see how various people respond to my post. For some it has been very influential—almost copying it—and other using it for fodder.)
No less than four academic articles cite it. I have been encouraged by one of the authors to take the article to print. Maybe one day I will. It seems that the tyranny of the urgent dictates my writing schedule. Articles which cite my post can be found at the following links:
- (in Arabic script) https://iling.spb.ru/periodicals/larng/2018/book.pdf#page=212
- (in Cyrillic script) https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Soumia-Tamma-2/publication/364028635_Techniques_of_Designing_Modern_Linguistics_Mapping/links/63369ce9ff870c55ceea2249/Techniques-of-Designing-Modern-Linguistics-Mapping.pdf
- Drude, Sebastian. 2018. “Why We Need Better Language Maps, and What They Could Look Like.” In Endangered Languages and the Land: Mapping Landscapes of Multilingualism, 33–40. Proceedings of FEL XXII/2018 Reykjavík, Iceland. London, UK: FEL & EL Publishing. http://www.elpublishing.org/PID/4006.
There are now other displays of language maps available. For example:
The focus of my blog post was just the start of the acquisition of more skills in the area of cartography. I address more areas, including linguistics and ways of plotting languages in my series of posts on cartography.
- Explaining cartographic concepts.
- Explaining and reviewing tools for generating and processing the necessary data.
- Creating population density visualizations.
- Collecting place names and generating a map in Nigeria.
- Creating a map of the language documentation files in the Meꞌphaa language documentation project.
- Creating a map of the language documentation files in the U̠t-Ma’in language documentation project.
- Creating several maps for Dan related to work in that language.
- Creating maps of the primary location where languages are spoken for which we know resources exist but are not archived.