Statistics for Linguistics and Cognitive Science

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

Students are given an introduction to hypothesis testing in Linguistics and Cognitive Science. The course gives a basis for understanding statistical hypothesis formulation, research design, and analysis of the results with statistical tests. The course will provide an understanding of the normal distribution, z-values, and parametric and non-parametric tests. Students will become familiar with concepts such as variance, standard deviation, central tendency measures, statistical significance, relevance, and type I- and II-errors.

Students will be taught to read and evaluate scientific literature with statistical argumentation. The course will also give a basis for evaluating statistical significance and relevance. Teaching is designed so that students will see how statistics is relevant for linguistics and cognitive science through relevant examples. They will also be able to choose a valid statistical test and carry out an analysis with the help of a suitable statistics program, such as R.

Learning Outcomes


The candidate has knowledge about...

  • statistical techniques and models
  • good practice for statistical analysis of experimental data in linguistics and cognitive science
  • theories and conventions for statistical analysis
  • various ways to communicate statistical results as well as possible
  • analytical models


The candidate can...

  • use statistics software, for instance, R
  • use theories and conventions to create analytic models
  • report statistical results correctly in text and graphs.

General competence

The candidate can...

  • work independently with empirical materials
  • choose correct tests for fairly straightforward experimental designs
  • have a critical eye for one's own and others' analyses
  • put statistical analysis in a relevant scientific context
  • prepare experimental design which is suitable for statistical analysis.

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction


Place of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Good grip of basic arithmetics.
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
DASP106, DASP302, DASPSTAT, KOGSTAT: 5 credits.
Access to the Course
The course is open to all who have a right to study at the University of Bergen.
Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, independent study and exercises with statistics software on a computer.

Teaching includes lectures with examples from language related data. Demonstrations will be given on formatting data and automatic processing in statistics software. Active participation is a requirement for this course. Deeper investigations and case studies are done through exercises with a computer, in which students get a practical understanding of statistical processing. It is not given that all aspects of the course goals will be covered by the lectures and seminars; a certain level of self-study is expected through reading the literature and active participation in exercises.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
A written report must be handed in, which outlines the solution to a chosen task. This assignment must be approved before the student can take the exam.
Forms of Assessment
Three day home exam, with solving statistical analysis and reporting of findings in about 3000 to 4000 words.
Grading Scale
Grading scale A-F
Assessment Semester
Reading List
About 800 pages of instructional materials and reference literature.
Course Evaluation
Evaluation of the offered course will be carried out in accordance with the University of Bergen's quality assessment system.
Examination Support Material
All aids are allowed, but the student must work independently.
Course Coordinator
The program board for linguistics