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Language and Linguistics: Tools and Methods


Admission requirements

Only for students of the BA English Language and Culture.


The field of Linguistics covers many additional disciplines to the ones that are part of the regular teaching programme of the BA English at Leiden, such as historical linguistics, corpus linguistics, child language acquisition and forensic linguistics. This course aims to introduce you to some relevant topics from these fields and the different tools with which we are able to describe language and language use.

You will become acquainted with scientific/scholarly tools and methods drawn upon by scholars throughout the world in the fields of forensic linguistics, child language acquisition and corpus linguistics. Using methods from corpus linguistics and drawing on digital tools, you will be offered some insight into current approaches within linguistics. Being able to work with these programs will be of enormous benefit, not only within linguistics or language acquisition, but also for research you might want to do within literature and philology.

The course comprises three blocks, each of which will be devoted to a single linguistic (sub)discipline consisting of three weekly lectures with set reading to be discussed during the lectures. Each series of lectures will be followed by a reading week that will allow you time to revise your reading or do assignments. For one of the lecture series you will be working on a digital tools assignment.

Course objectives

After completing the course you will have

  • become acquainted with a number of important (sub)disciplines within linguistics

  • learnt about a number of current research methods within linguistics

  • gained experience in making summaries of relevant background literature

  • learnt to work with a state-of-the-art digital research program

  • gained experience in jointly doing research for the purpose of writing a report together with a fellow student.


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Written exam with short open/ essay questions (70%)
A digital tool assignment written in the form of a research report (30%)

In order to pass the course, the final grade has to be a 6.0. The marks for Assignment and Final Exam may not be be lower than 5.


Written exam with short open questions and essay questions
A digital tool assignment written in the form of a research report


Assignment: 30%

Final exam: 70%


For component marks lower than 5, students will have to do a resit.

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.

Reading list

A reading list comprising weekly reading material (mostly articles and book chapters).


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website.

Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte.
Registration Contractonderwijs.


Dr. M.S. Gordon

Dr. L. Fonteyn

Prof.dr. J. Grijzenhout


For the digital tools assignment, students will be expected to work in pairs. Relevant software is available in the Lipsius computerlab.

Disclaimer: Please note that the course descriptions, in particular the assessment method, might be adjusted (timely) depending on the measures taken regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.