Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A set of similar dialects constituting any of the larger distinct regional varieties of a language. For example, Mandarin Chinese is a topolect that includes the dialects of Beijing and Nanjing, and is distinct from Hakka, another topolect of Chinese.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A set of similar dialects that pertain to a larger distinct regional dialect.

Etymologies

topo- + (dia)lect (translation of Chinese (Mandarin) fāngyán, regional speech : fāng, place + yán, language).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Some Beijing partisans claim that càiniǎo 菜鳥 comes from Pekingese, because cài 菜 (lit., "vegetable") can mean "bad, weak" in Beijing topolect.

    Language Log

  • English as "dialect," the Chinese word means simply "topolect," i.e., the speech pattern of a place, be it large or small)!

    Language Log

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