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Core: Research Methods in Linguistics


Admission requirements

This course is open to students of Linguistics (research) only.


Linguistics represents a single discipline to the extent that it shares a single
object of analysis, but is otherwise quite heterogeneous. Linguists affiliate with
fields as divergent as logics, anthropology, biology, mathematics, and
archaeology - to name but a few disciplines that are ‘neighbours’ to linguistics.
This has given rise to a situation where creative synergies between linguists of
various subdisciplines and scholars of other disciplines have led to exciting new
collaborations and innovations in methodologies.

The linguistic research carried out at Leiden University reflects a rich variety of
subdisciplines, each with their own methodologies - sometimes overlapping,
sometimes contrasting. The aim of this course is to present the student with an
overview of five subfields of linguistics that Leiden linguists work in and the
methodologies they apply: Theoretical Linguistics, Second Language Acquisition,
Language in Society, Comparative Historical Linguistics, and Descriptive

Each of the subfields will be introduced in a 2-week’s block, by a leading Leiden
scholar who discusses a seminal work in their own subfield, paying particular
attention to the methodology applied. There will be two 2-hour lectures per week,
one on Monday, the other on Friday. In each block, students will do one or more
assignment(s) to apply the methodology discussed. In addition to the readings
selected by the lecturers, students study a number of chapters from a textbook

Course objectives

In this course, students learn:

  • the various research methods employed in Linguistics

  • the variety of linguistic subfields present in Leiden, and the scholars who work in these fields

  • how to recognize the methodology that has been applied in seminal papers

  • how to apply the methodologies through practical research assignments


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

All blocks are obligatory. In each block, students will do one or more assignment(s); the (end) grade of each block counts equally towards the averaged final grade. If the final grade is lower than 5.5, the student can do a resit for maximally 1 block.

Reading list

The Textbook for this course is:

Podesva, Robert J. and Devyani Sharma (eds). 2013. Research Methods in Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on this website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

not applicable


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats

E-mail address Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats:

Coordinator of Studies