Theory, Model, Method
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For a linguistic analysis of language the linguist needs language data, i.e. examples / samples of written or spoken language.
Depending on the theoretical framework and methodological approach of a particular study, data can be collected by using different methods:
- Collection of naturalistic data:
(1) observation / recording of spoken language(2) samples of written language (e.g. from books, newspapers)
- Linguistic Experiments
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- Extraction of data from (electronic) corpora of language
In empirical studies data is usually collected in direct contact with an informant (i.e. through observation / recording, elicitation, interview), and an inductive analytical method is used: a thorough analysis of natural language data is the basis for the formulation of hypotheses and theories.
Data collection methods such as introspection are more linked to theoretical-deductive approaches, where a theory or hypothesis is formulated and then supported (or discarded) by drawing on linguistic data.
Exercises on Data Collection