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The scientific relevance of dialects

Dialects are believed to represent the culture of a people, and as such as often treated as folklore. However, they may reveal to be very important means of understanding the human mind. One of the questions that linguists have tried to answer in the last years is ‘what are possible and impossible languages?’. We can start from the assumption that, being human, we are all endowed with the same language hardware. The grammars that can be produced by our brain can vary only up to a certain limits, because they all run on the same brain. Where exactly are the limits between a possible grammar and an impossible grammar then? We know that dialects vary only minimally one from the other. They allow us to zoom in into the linguistic microvariation, and define the exact limits of human grammars.

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