The lecture “Methods in Language Variation and Change” accompanies one of the linguistic seminars in ang617/ang618 and is meant for students registered for these courses to develop basic methodological skills in the topic areas of language variation and change.
Unlike many other disciplines in the humanities, linguistics has a very empirical research tradition. To get the data needed for empirical research, there are various methods of data collection which all come with a number of limitations and advantages. In this course, we will introduce and evaluate different methods of data collection, making you familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of them all and discuss critically the suitability for your research questions.
In the lecture, we will guide students to develop different methodological skills and competences, such as:
- the ability to formulate a valid (and manageable) research question
- the ability to choose the appropriate approach to answering this research question (i.e. e.g. qualitative vs. quantitative research)
- the ability to choose the appropriate method(s) of data collection to answer this question
- the ability to choose the appropriate participants/ language corpus to answer this question
- the ability to analyse the data
- the ability to choose and present relevant results
- the ability to structure linguistic papers
The course is meant to give you a hands-on experience in working empirically yourself – from developing a research question to analysing and presenting your data. Therefore, the teaching methods in this course will vary from regular lectures in the first part to (individual) counselling and consultation about your own projects (be it posters, term papers or other kinds of examination).
Students who registered for one of the linguistic seminars in ang617 also need to register for this lecture.