The use of language is a key factor in establishing and maintaining cultural identity. A common language provides the basis for passing on cultural heritage and for enabling social interaction and identification. Due to the intricate interplay of language and culture, cultural diversity is often reinforced by (real or perceived) differences among the language varieties of groups, while group identity can be solidified by the (real or perceived) unity of the group's language, even despite some internal diversity.
The project proposed here aims to take well-established quantitative techniques for measuring language diversity and apply them to the language varieties of Bulgaria and the surrounding territory. These methods have already been used successfully for the study of language diversity and unity in Western Europe, but the cultural and linguistic context of Bulgaria within the larger Balkan language area presents new challenges not encountered in the Western context.
Taken from: Measuring linguistic unity and diversity in Europe, Project-proposal.
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