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LINGUISTIC ATLAS, also dialect atlas. A book of maps which show the distribution of language features over a chosen area. The maps show, with conventional signs such as dots, circles, and triangles, the locations of features as used by native speakers, such as sounds, words, or syntactic features. Ideally, the speakers are directly interviewed in their home communities and their responses immediately noted, but the data are sometimes gathered by postal enquiry. Linguistic atlases have been made for Scotland by Angus McIntosh (1952, An Introduction to a Survey of Scottish Dialects) and J. Y. Mather and H. H. Speitel (1975, 1977, 1986, The Linguistic Atlas of Scotland, 3 volumes); for Wales by Alan R. Thomas (1973, The Linguistic Geography of Wales), and for England by Harold Orton, Stewart Sanderson, and John Widdowson (1978, The Linguistic Atlas of England). In North America, the overall project ‘The Linguistic Atlas of the United States and Canada’, for which fieldwork was begun in 1931, has been only partly achieved. Parts completed and published are: The Linguistic Atlas of New England, handbook and 3 volumes, by Hans Kurath (1939–43); The Linguistic Atlas of the Upper Midwest, 3 volumes, by Harold B. Allen (1973–6); The Linguistic Atlas of the Gulf States, 3 volumes, with others in preparation, by Lee Pederson (1986–9).