Various studies proved that the methodology of J. Herman produces plausible and verifiable results in the field of Latin dialectology, but certain methodological questions remained still unanswered regarding our points of reference in the decision which proportions of the data of the inscriptional faults are classified significant; how to decid...e on the basis of the proportion of a certain error type if a certain linguistic change was in progress, if it was completed, or if it was not active in the examined territory; which types of errors can serve as base or bases of comparison for a specific examined error type; which periods and territories should be the point of reference in comparisons. In the present study, we attempt to give answers to these questions by running statistical surveys using different points of reference in statistical significance and different bases of comparisons in the error types, and we set up a list of expected results based on the known tendencies of sound changes in Vulgar Latin against which we will measure the actual results of the survey in order to determine which methods were the most effective in meeting the expected picture that we already know about the development of Romance languages.
Previous studies analyzed the Vulgar Latin of the inscriptions of Pannonia Inferior, Dalmatia and Venetia et Histria, comparing the differences between the provincial capitals and the countryside of the provinces, in order to verify the hypothesis of Untermann (1980) and Herman (1983) about the existence of a larger regional dialect of Latin ov...er the Alps–Danube–Adria region. The analyses made clear that these geographic unites don’t constitute a solid and uniform dialectal area, but there are undeniable common characteristics, such as the weakness of the /w/~/b/ merger or the lack of sonorization, which allow us to suppose that the Vulgar Latin variants of these provinces were somewhat more connected among each other than with the rest of the empire. This study involves another province of the Alps–Danube–Adria region, Noricum, in the examination, systematically discusses the changes in the vowel and consonant systems based on the relative distribution of diverse types of non-standard data from the inscriptions of Noricum, and contrasts the linguistic phenomena of an earlier period (1st–3rd c. AD) with a later stage (4th–6th c. AD) of Vulgar Latin, attempting to define whether Noricum fits common characteristics found in the other provinces of the Alps–Danube–Adria region.