Summary of the paper

Title Towards faithfully visualizing global linguistic diversity
Authors Garland McNew, Curdin Derungs and Steven Moran
Abstract The most popular strategy for visualizing worldwide linguistic diversity is to utilize point symbology by plotting linguistic features as colored dots or shapes on a Mercator map projection. This approach creates illusions due to the choice of cartographic projection and also from statistical biases inherent in samples of language data and their encoding in typological databases. Here we describe these challenges and offer an approach towards faithfully visualizing linguistic diversity. Instead of Mercator, we propose an Eckert IV projection to serve as a map base layer. Instead of languages-as-points, we use Voronoi/Thiessen tessellations to model linguistic areas, including polygons for languages for which there is missing data in the sample under investigation. Lastly we discuss future work in the intersection of cartography and comparative linguistics, which must be addressed to further advance visualizations of worldwide linguistic diversity.
Topics Typological Databases, Knowledge Discovery/Representation, Tools, Systems, Applications
Full paper Towards faithfully visualizing global linguistic diversity
Bibtex @InProceedings{MCNEW18.813,
  author = {Garland McNew and Curdin Derungs and Steven Moran},
  title = "{Towards faithfully visualizing global linguistic diversity}",
  booktitle = {Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2018)},
  year = {2018},
  month = {May 7-12, 2018},
  address = {Miyazaki, Japan},
  editor = {Nicoletta Calzolari (Conference chair) and Khalid Choukri and Christopher Cieri and Thierry Declerck and Sara Goggi and Koiti Hasida and Hitoshi Isahara and Bente Maegaard and Joseph Mariani and Hélène Mazo and Asuncion Moreno and Jan Odijk and Stelios Piperidis and Takenobu Tokunaga},
  publisher = {European Language Resources Association (ELRA)},
  isbn = {979-10-95546-00-9},
  language = {english}
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