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Corpus Linguistics


Admission requirements



This course aims to provide a general introduction to the use of corpus tools in the study of language to students with little or no prior knowledge of using electronic language corpora. In the course of the lectures and seminars, the students will be introduced to a range of possibilities available through analyzing natural language on the basis of corpora.
Students will learn how to use different types of corpora (written, spoken, multimodal, specialised, learner) and corpus analysis packages (e.g. Wordsmith and AntConc). Interested students will also have the chance to explore corpus linguistic analyses using the programming language Python.
The analysis of patterns of language variation (according to style, register, regional varieties, etc.) will be demonstrated by the use of different analysis tools in corpus linguistics (word frequency lists, concordancing, keywords). Furthermore, students will learn how to use basic descriptive statistics to analyse patterns of language variation and change.
Finally, the course will cover a variety of applications of corpus linguistics in disciplines such as sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, discourse studies, and applied linguistics.

Course objectives

By the end of the course the students should be able to:

  • understand the basic concepts in corpus linguistics (CL)

  • describe different applications of CL

  • use large-scale corpora and corpus analysis packages

  • interpret the findings of CL analyses

  • formulate a hypothesis and perform individual research using CL tools


Linguistics bachelor

Mode of instruction

One-hour lecture per week
One-hour seminar per week

Course Load

Total course load: 140 hrs
Hours spent on:

  • attending lectures and seminars: 26 hrs

  • studying the compulsory literature: 30

  • preparing the presentation: 10

  • completing hands-on tasks outside the classroom: 24

  • preparing for the written (mid-term) exam: 10

  • writing the paper (reading and research): 40

Assessment method

Paper (50%)
Written mid-term exam (20%)
Participation (20%)
Presentation (10%)

Exam review

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.


This course is supported by Blackboard. Blackboard will be used to provide students with an overview of current affairs, as well as specific information about (components of) the course. Please see:

Reading list

Compulsory literature:
McEnery, Tony and Andrew Hardie. 2012.Corpus Linguistics: Methods, Theory and Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Additional reading will be made available through Blackboard. .


Enrollment through uSis for the course and the examination or paper is mandatory.


Education Administration Office van Wijkplaats:

Coordinator of Studies: Else van Dijk


As the course will be taught in the computer lab, the maximum number of students will be 18-20.