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Statistics in Linguistics


Admission requirements

Basic mathematics and analytical abilities assumed.


This course provides an introduction to basic concepts and methods of descriptive and inferential statistics that are needed for the analysis of quantitative data in linguistics.
In particular, we will focus first on data exploration and the understanding of which method to apply to the different types of data sets in linguistics. We will explore specific methods necessary for the analysis of experimental designs covering among others: t-test, ANOVA, linear and logistic regression, linear mixed models and non-parametric tests. The methods will be illustrated with practical examples from the field of linguistics using varied research designs and data. Practical exercises will be done using the statistical analysis software R.

Course objectives

  1. Students are able to understand basic concepts and terminology of statistics.
  2. Students are able to recognize advanced statistical methods for the analysis of linguistic data.
  3. Students are able to explore and describe linguistic data sets.
  4. Students are able to identify appropriate statistical analysis methods for a given data set.
  5. Students obtain hands-on experience with the statistical analysis software R.
  6. Students learn to report experimental results in written form.


The timetable is available on the MA Linguistics website

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

Course Load

Total course load EC x 28 hours total 188 hours

  • Lectures: 26 hours

  • Practical work: 48

  • Study of compulsory literature: 25

  • Bi-weekly Assignment(s)(same as practical work): 48

  • On-line Tutorials: 2

  • Preparation exam: 35

  • Exam(s): 4

Assessment method


The final mark will be determined based on the weigthed average of (i) bi-weekly 5/6 assignments to be conducted in R and (ii) a written final exam.


The final grade will be a weighted average of the bi-weekly assignments (60%) and the final exam (40%). Completion of all the assignments is mandatory and a pre-requisite to be eligible for the final exam.


Students who fail the course may resit the written exam.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used for:
*Uploading class content.
*Specifiying readings and Assignment Guidelines.
*Creating Assignments and uploading their solutions.
*Announcements regarding lecture updates and assignments.

Reading list

This course will cover material covered in different chapters out of the following books:

  • Field, A., Miles, J. & Field, Z. (2012). Discoverng Statistics Using R. SAGE Publications Ltd.

  • Bayen, H. (2008). Analyzing Linguistic Data. Cambridge University Press.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs
Not applicable


Please contact Student administration van Eyckhof for questions.

The coordinator of studies is Else van Dijk