Research methods in linguistics 2

Key information

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Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of Linguistics

Module overview

This module is intended as a follow-up to the Research methods in linguistics 1, which is a pre-requisite for attendance on this module. It provides both a broader and more in-depth examination of key issues and practice in research methodology within the field of Linguistics. Students will become familiar with a range of empirical approaches to research questions and research tools, including ‘critical’ approaches. The module will provide an overview of methodological approaches from a range of subdisciplines while offering the opportunity to conduct two small-scale research projects using at least one specific research method and approach. The module aims to enable students to develop and conduct original research projects. It will also be very useful for dissertation preparation. The module will also discuss issues of power and decolonisation in research, informed consent and ethical review.

The module includes topics such as sociolinguistic studies, quantitative and quantitative data analysis, language and Identity, critical approaches and postmodernism, Discourse Analysis, Corpus linguistics, archival, dataset and desk research.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • Understand how to develop research questions and methodology in Linguistics and language-related study
  • ​​​Understand different types of language-related research and principles of data management
  • Epistemology, methodology and methods
  • Design and carry out an empirical research project in Linguistics and language-related studies
  • Understand issues of power and decolonisation in research, informed consent and ethical review.


This module will consist of weekly one-hour lectures and one-hour seminars.

Scope and syllabus

The module will cover topics such as:

  • Research instruments; Developing questionnaires. Interviews and Focus Groups
  • Linguistic Ethnography and participant observation. Practical exercises
  • Linguistic Anthropology, Participatory Action Research
  • Narrative Research
  • Inductive vs. deductive methods: direct vs indirect tools
  • Tools for sociolinguistic studies e.g. Variationism, Researching language attitudes; practical exercises
  • Tools for sociolinguistic studies e.g. Matched guise and its relatives; quantitative analysis
  • Language and Identity.
  • Critical approaches and postmodernism
  • Discourse Analysis; qualitative analysis
  • Corpus linguistics, archival, dataset and desk research
  • Tools for researching multilingual language ecologies, language maintenance and shift.
  • What have we learned?

Method of assessment

  • 60% - Conduct and report on a small-scale research project, 2,500 words
  • 40% - Oral presentation, 15 minutes
  • The exact assessment deadline dates are published on the relevant module Moodle/BLE page

Suggested reading

  • Litosseliti, Lia. 2018 (2e). Research Methods in Linguistics. Basingstoke: Continuum.
  • Wray, Alison, Kate Trott and Aileen Bloomer, with Shirley Reay and Chris Butler. 2006. Projects in Linguistics: a practical guide to researching language (2e). London / New York: Arnold.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules