Catalan includes six dialectal areas. In general, all of them are subdivided into subdialects. Eastern Catalan incorporates five subdialects: the northern transitional subdialect, the subdialects of Barcelona and Tarragona, and the so-called xipella and salat subdialects, which have only been defined by one dialectal feature. These particular traits are dying out at the moment.
The aim of this paper is to study the process of extinction of the salat subdialect. The project L'arxiu audiovisual del parlar salat de la Costa Brava (The archive of the salat subdialect of the Costa Brava), started in 2004, shows the vitality of this subdialect and its present-day situation.
The Majorcan dialectologist Antoni M. Alcover (1862–1932) was the first researcher to record information for use in the study of the conjugation of Catalan verbs. He compiled almost 500,000 verb forms corresponding to the complete conjugation of 75 verbs in 149 localities in the Catalan-speaking area. These data were published under the title “La flexió verbal en els dialectes catalans”. From 1999, work began to complete and computerize these materials in order to make them accessible to scholars in the field and to the public. These computer applications have a descriptive character: they show dialectal and subdialectal areas, and isoglosses, in a graphic form. However, it is also possible to use these materials from an interpretative point of view.
The aim of this paper is to apply a suitable dialectometric analysis to the “Verbal flexion” materials, which can only be interpreted using quantitative analysis techniques. Taking multiple answers into account, we use the calculation of the Mean Degree of Confluence and we compare the results with the dialectometric analysis obtained applying Hans Goebl's methodology, which is based on the use of single answers.
The methodological aspects that characterize any dialectal survey were defined in Jules Gilliéron's Atlas Linguistique de la France (Champion, 1902–1910) and they were the starting point for later dialectal works. From then on, the number of informants interviewed, the qualities of the researcher or the typology of the questionnaire are characteristics that determine the design and the realization of any atlas. This paper examines different methodological aspects related to the dialectal survey and proposes a method that gives account of the progressive variation observed in the speakers of a cohesive dialectal territory.