spring 2020
HIF-3082 Quantitative Methods in Linguistics - 10 ECTS

Last changed 18.09.2020

Application deadline

Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 December (for the spring semester).

Applicants from outside the Nordic countries: 1 October (for the spring semester).

Type of course

This course may be taken as a single course by students who qualify for admission to the MA programme in Theoretical Linguistics and/or the MA programme in English Acquisition and Multilingualism, and/or a master's programme in linguistics in general (Russian, Spanish etc.).

Admission requirements

Bachelor's Degree (180 ECTS), or equivalent qualification, in a language or linguistics, or a degree combining linguistics and literature, with a minimum of 80 ECTS of concentrated work in linguistics and/or language. An average grade equivalent to C or better (in the concentrated work in linguistics and/or language, 80 ECTS) is required.

Application code: 9371 - Enkeltemner på masternivå (Nordic applicants).

Course content

This course introduces students to some of the major tools required in the organization and understanding of quantitative linguistic data. This will include: general analytic method, probabilistic logic, statistics, and the use of the programming language R. It is appropriate for students who are interested in data gathered either experimentally or from corpora.

Objectives of the course


By the end of the course the student should have a basic knowledge and understanding of the following areas.

  • General Logic and Inference
  • Basic Probability Theory
  • Modelling and Statistical Tests
  • The Programming Language R for Statistical Analysis


In practical terms, the student will acquire the following connected skills:

  • How to gather and organize data either experimentally or from corpora.
  • How to model complex data with appropriate choice of statistical model.
  • How to test statistical models with the appropriate tests.
  • How to use R to organize and explore patterns in the data, and run the standard statistical tests required in reporting scientific research.

Language of instruction

Language of instruction and examination: English.

Teaching methods

Lectures, seminars/exercises and discussions.

Quality assurance: All courses undergo a halfway evaluation once in a 2-year period at the master's level. The Programme Board determines which programme options will be evaluated per year, and which courses will be evaluated by the students and the teacher per year.


Coursework requirements: Biweekly homeworks (assessed approved/not approved).

Assessment method: Term paper ("semesteroppgave") of approximately 15 pages on a topic chosen by the student in consultation with the instructor. The student will work on the term paper throughout the semester under supervision of the instructor and deliver it on the assigned date. The term paper will be written in English. The standards for written assignments are to be followed: Times New Roman, 12pt, 1.5 line spacing, 2.5 cm margins.

Performance in the course will be assessed on an A-F grades scale. Grades are A-E for passed and F for failed. A re-sit examination is offered in the event of an F grade. The deadline to register (in the Studentweb) for a re-sit examination is January 15th for the autumn semester and August 15th for the spring semester. In the event of a re-sit examination, the student is allowed to submit a revised version of his/her term paper within a given deadline.


  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 10
  • Course code: HIF-3082