This article needs additional citations for
|Part of |
A dialect continuum or dialect chain is a spread of
Dialect continua typically occur in long-settled agrarian populations, as innovations spread from their various points of origin as
A variety within a dialect continuum may be developed and codified as a
Dialectologists record variation across a dialect continuum using maps of various features collected in a
Secondary studies may include interpretive maps, showing the areal distribution of various variants. A common tool in these maps is an
In a dialect continuum, isoglosses for different features are typically spread out, reflecting the gradual transition between varieties. A bundle of coinciding isoglosses indicates a stronger dialect boundary, as might occur at geographical obstacles or long-standing political boundaries. In other cases, intersecting isoglosses and more complex patterns are found.