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Linguistic Typology

Founded by Plank, Frans

Editor-in-Chief: Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria

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Volume 13, Issue 1


Data reduction typology and the bimodal distribution bias

Bernhard Wälchli
Published Online: 2009-05-20 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/LITY.2009.004


Confronting low data reduction typologies, as established by using data from parallel texts, with the high data reduction typologies of WALS reveals a systematic bias of WALS typologies toward highly bimodal distribution. Properties with a distribution supporting a discrete feature analysis in many languages are likelier to be represented in WALS and to be represented accurately. This bias has important consequences when WALS typologies are interpreted theoretically or further processed statistically.

Keywords:: data reduction; doculect; imperative; linguistic atlas; methodology; number; parallel texts; word order

About the article

Correspondence address: Institut für Sprachwissenschaft, Universität Bern, 3000 Bern 9, Switzerland; e-mail:

Received: 2008-07-25

Revised: 2009-01-05

Published Online: 2009-05-20

Published in Print: 2009-05-01

Citation Information: Linguistic Typology, Volume 13, Issue 1, Pages 77–94, ISSN (Online) 1613-415X, ISSN (Print) 1430-0532, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/LITY.2009.004.

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