This special issue brings together a collection of papers that highlight recent advances in the field of lectometry. Lectometric research measures distances between various types of language varieties, such as dialects or sociolects. In addition to briefly sketching the development of the field, this introductory paper surveys the theoretical, methodological, and practical contributions a lectometric approach to language has to offer. We furthermore identify blind spots within the current scope of lectometric work and lay out suggestions for future avenues the field could go down. The paper concludes by introducing the various contributions to this special issue of “Zeitschrift für Dialektologie und Linguistik” and by outlining how each of those papers contributes to extending the scope of lectometry.
- language variation
- register variation
- quantitative methods in linguistics