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LIN4180 - Data Management for Linguists

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate, Postgraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Dr Simon Musgrave


Not offered in 2007


The impact of the digital revolution on data collection and management in linguistics has been profound. Professional linguists in the 21st century need to know what technologies are available and be able to adapt to change, to manage digitally encoded data, and to prepare data for presentation to the linguistic community or for long-term storage. This unit will cover all these topics using project-based learning. Language-specific software (e.g. Shoebox) and more general software (e.g. FileMaker and Access) will be used, the use of Unicode and issues in interoperability will be discussed, and the ethical issues raised by storing data collected from human subjects will be canvassed.


After successfully completing this unit, students will
1. understand the variety of material which can be considered as language data 2. understand the volume of data generated in language study 3. understand the unified nature of the entire process of handling language data, from acquisition to long-term storage 4. have acquired knowledge of currently available technologies and 5. understand the consequences of choosing any particular technological solution 6. have developed skills to evaluate and use new technologies as they become available 7. have developed the management skills needed to handle large volumes of data from human subjects 8. be familiar with theoretical notions developing within the field of language data management 9. be able to formulate research questions about linguistic data and tools for handling it 10. have acquired advanced skills in essay writing


Group participation 10%;
Group project 2000 words 35%;
Essay proposal 500 words 15%;
Research essay 2500 words 40%

Contact hours

2 hours per week


Linguistics units to a value of at least 12 points