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Topics in Linguistics E: Introduction to descriptive statistics and programming in R for Linguists


Admission requirements

Math C (wiskunde C) within the Dutch high school system is assumed.


In this one block course you will be introduced to descriptive statistics and the statistical computing language R within an experimental linguistics context.

In this course students will get familiar with basic concepts in methodology and descriptive statistics necessary to conduct research in experimental linguistics such as the empirical cycle, central tendency and variability, the normal distribution, relationships between variables and describing and explaining variance, and how to apply these concepts in R.

By the end of the course you will be able to use R for simple and more complex data and functions, use R for data visualization, know how to program in R and to use R for descriptive statistics. By the end of the course the student will know how to use R for these basic operations and have laid a solid foundation for more advanced data analysis in R.

Course objectives

Learning goal 1: student is able to describe core concepts of methods and techniques in experimental linguistics such as the empirical cycle, variables, measurement level, central tendency and variability, distributions, and association.

Learning goal 2: student is able to use R and to use R for descriptive statistics


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

Lectures and workgroups

Assessment method

Weekly assignments + 1 hour practical exam

At least 5 out of 6 assignments need to be handed in in time and need to be of sufficient quality in order to be eligible for participation in the exam

At least 5 out of 6 sessions need to be attended in order to be eligible for particpiation in the exam

At least 55% of the points on the exam need to be obtained to pass the course


Resit: students who fail the course may resit the exam

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

Field, Miles, & Field (2012). Discovering statistics using R. Sage. Plus articles that can be downloaded from the UB.


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

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

not applicable


J. Witteman

Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats

E-mail address Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats: osz-oa-reuvensplaats@hum.leidenuniv.nl

Coordinator of Studies


not applicable