Quantitative Linguistics: Some Statistics
Instructor: John Nerbonne (course
Mon.- Fri. June 12-July 16, 13:00 - 15:30
LOT Summer Summer School University of Amsterdam
The course will assume basic notions in statistics,
including, say the notions sampling, statistical
significance, confidence intervals, effect size,
z-tests, t-tests, and χ2 tests.
But we will not build very directly on these notions
so that a general scientific maturity should also be
Linguistics is rapidly becoming a statistical field in very
many of its subdisciplines, something virtually no one would
have predicted fifteen years ago. This advanced LOT course
will review recent developments which point in this direction
and present their statistical underpinnings.
To avoid misunderstanding, let me emphasize that the course
will adopt the perspective of general linguistics and
proceed to ask what quantitative techniques have to offer.
We will not attempt to introduce the specialized topics of
the subdiscipline Quantitative Linguistics. e.g. the
nature of word frequency distributions.
We have three goals:
to examine the reasons why linguistics was
non-statistical for so long (problems in corpora
analysis, usefulness of intuitive judgements), and why
these reasons now seem less compelling.
to examine some leading papers advocating or exploiting
"the statistical turn"
to present critically some selected areas, including the
statistical underpinnings needed to understand the work
(Very Tentative) Schedule
Introduction. Concepts & history.
Measurement (consistency, validity)
Mixed effects models, esp. in syntax and phonology
Dimension reduction, esp. in variationist studies.
Permutation tests, contributions from participants?
Some Useful Literature
Last modified: Sat Jun 10 15:44:32 CEST 2006
Steven Abney (1996). Statistical Methods
and Linguistics. In: Judith Klavans and Philip Resnik
(eds.), The Balancing Act. The MIT Press,
Cambridge, MA. 61 KB, 23+1 pages
Fernando Pereira. (2000) Formal
grammar and information theory: Together again?.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society,