Theory, Model, Method


Theories are expected to cover data and explain certain ranges of phenomena. There are several ways (methods) of approaching the construction of theories on the basis of data. The question now to be answered is how linguists get their data (sources of data), how they study this data (data analysis) and which types of data they use.


Collecting and analysing linguistic data can be performed using different methods and techniques depending on the kind of object under examination and the specific theoretical approach (linguistic schools). Therefore it should be natural that mutually exclusive theories and explanations of linguistic phenomena result from the variety of data sampled.

Introspection and Native Speakersí Intuitions
Elicitation of Intuitive Responses
Using intuitions
The collection of authentic primary data: corpus linguistics
Data collection
Experimental linguistics
Naturalistic data collection: field work
Field Work 1: Longitudinal versus cross-sectional studies
Field Work 2: Qualitative vs. quantitative

Exercises on Method