Spanish 209: Quantitative Methods in (Spanish) (Socio)Linguistics

W 2-5, WHEELER 122 | Instructor: Davidson | CCN: 31759

Units: 4

Taught in English, this course serves as an intensive introduction to the theoretical foundations of experimental design and quantitative analysis (i.e., inferential statistics) as applied to linguistic data. As empirical, quantitative methods continue to become more commonplace in (socio)linguistic research, linguists are increasingly expected to have (minimally) a passive knowledge of inferential statistics and a degree of proficiency with inferential statistics software, in addition to the practical skills involved with creating and evaluating various kinds of experimental tasks. In this seminar, we opt for a practical and targeted approach to empirical methodologies and quantitative analysis, selecting a finite set of experimental tasks, statistical tests, and software packages with which to practice and gain expertise.

Designed in workshop format, class sessions will combine lecture-style instruction with guided tutorials (i.e., the class proceeds together) and independent practice activities (i.e., students choose to work individually or in groups), facilitating a maximum amount of ‘hands-on’ engagement with experimental design and statistical tests across various software packages (most notably, R). Emphasis will be placed on the range of types of experimental tasks, statistical tests, and software packages used and in some cases developed by linguists, promoting a greater awareness of the history and trajectory of quantitative methods in empirical linguistics research.