What can you actually learn from those dialect maps?

Odds are you've noticed the spate of eerily accurate American-dialect quizzes making the rounds online. The questionnaires, which draw on data from the Harvard Dialect Survey to pinpoint the regionality of your particular way of speaking, are endlessly entertaining – but what findings can we, and linguists, actually… » 12/26/13 1:30pm 12/26/13 1:30pm

This video of people taking the American dialect survey is fascinating

Bert Vaux's dialect survey is endlessly fascinating, prompting thousands of folks to figure out which American dialect they speak. This video mixes audio of people taking the survey with Joshua Katz's heat map visualizations of the dialect data. » 11/30/13 10:30am 11/30/13 10:30am