Theory, Model, Method

Data Collection

Source of the picture:

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:

Source of the picture:
  • 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