Tema vår 2020: Empirical Approaches in Theoretical Linguistics
Kort om emnet / Course content
In the early days of modern theoretical linguistics, phenomena in areas such as syntax, semantics, morphology, phonology, pragmatics, and so forth, used to be, by and large, investigated on the basis of introspective intuitions. However, research throughout the last decades has gradually incorporated a focus on a solid empirical basis, e.g., by using corpus data in order to corroborate the validity of a given intuition or observation. In this class, we approach theoretical questions from an empirical perspective (e.g., how to collect relevant corpus data that bear on theoretical questions). Student will carry out their own independent research in any area of theoretical linguistics.
Topics and research questions that cut across the traditional lines of fields (such as syntax vs. semantics vs. pragmatics vs. phonology) are particularly encouraged. Research on phenomena that connect theoretical linguistics to other areas of linguistics are also welcome (such as, for example, research questions that connect syntactic/semantic/phonological/prosodic/morphological phenomena to sociolinguistic effects).
Hva lærer du? / Learning outcome
Students decide on a research question/topic of their own (in agreement with the supervisors) that should be in one or more of the fields of general linguistics (i.e., syntax, morphology, semantics, pragmatics, phonetics, phonology). They then investigate their topic with suitable linguistic methodology (such as corpus linguistic investigations).
Topics with an interface-component (e.g. syntax-semantics, syntax-phonology, semantics-prosody, syntax-sociolinguistics, phonology-prosody-pragmatics) are particularly encouraged. Students learn to independently formulate their own research questions for their topic and how to empirically investigate their questions with suitable linguistic methodology (such as corpus-based research). They learn how to collect and interpret empirical data, how to give research presentations on their results, and how to write up their findings in the form of a short academic paper.