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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Language Sciences

Postgraduate Course: Corpus Linguistics (MSc) (LASC11078)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaLanguage Sciences Other subject areaNone
Course website Please use Learn Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis course covers the ways in which electronic text databases (corpora) can be used to do research in linguistics and language studies. Corpora can show the distribution of a word or construction, which can tell us about the structure or function of that item, and/or the way it patterns stylistically, socially, regionally, or historically.

Students will be exposed to a range of different corpora (spoken, written, historically and socially differentiated, single genre and multi-genre),and encouraged also to think of the internet as a corpus. We will look at the ways in which electronic texts are adapted for linguistic research through tagging and mark-up. Most sessions will be held in the teaching lab where students will learn to use concordancing software to extract and manipulate data.

We will not only make use of collocational data but also word frequency lists, which can be used to estimate vocabulary size and to make inferences about how words are remembered and parsed by speakers.

The course assumes that students have not worked with electronic corpora before, and provides a basic introduction to corpora and how to use them. It builds on knowledge that students could be expected to have of, for example, syntax or discourse, and demonstrates how they can pursue research in this area with a new methodology.

Feedback Events:
The CO will meet students in Weeks 3 and 4 to discuss and advise on possible topics for their presentation and assignment.

The CO will provide feedback (the week immediately after their presentations) so that they can use the feedback to improve/shape their research paper.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 13/01/2014
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 26, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 168 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module, students should have:
- An understanding of the construction of different corpora and what kinds of data they are able to provide
- A broad sense of the applications of electronic corpora

They should be able to:
- Develop and refine a query to extract data from a corpus
- Present and discuss corpus results
- Use corpus data to answer questions about vocabulary, morphology, syntax, pragmatics, sociolinguistic variation and language change
Assessment Information
Presentation x2 (20%) and One 4,000 word essay (80%)

Presentation Part A: submission of a hard copy Powerpoint presentation and brief commentary
Part A Assignment Deadline: Monday 10th April 2014
Presentation Part B: presentation of the Powerpoint to be made in class during week 9.
Part A & B Feedback Returned: the week immediately following the in-class presentations

Essay Assignment Deadline: Tuesday 22nd April 2014, 12 noon
Maximum Word Count: 4000 words
Essay Return Date: Wednesday 14th May 2014
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
Keywordselectronic corpora, concordancing, collocation, word frequency
Course organiserDr Brona Murphy
Tel: (0131 6)51 6408
Course secretaryMiss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188
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