Language Sampling

Dik Bakker

in The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Typology

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199281251
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

 Language Sampling

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This article explores the different sampling strategies and sample sizes. It also explains the types of bias that threaten the reliability of a language sample in the face of specific research questions. The article then presents an overview of some of the approaches to sampling that have been proposed to overcome such biases. A generalized sampling technique, called Diversity Value (DV), is further addressed. It is shown that there may be practical circumstances which force a researcher to just grab the data that happen to be available and sufficiently reliable. The causes of unbalanced samples include bibliographic bias, genetic bias, areal bias, typological bias, and cultural bias. The DV method allows for adding weights to the branches, assigning more or less depth to each of them, thus increasing or diminishing the DVs of their mother nodes. It also has some clear restrictions. The article finally reports the future of linguistic sampling.

Keywords: linguistic sampling; bias; language sample; Diversity Value; sampling strategies; sample sizes

Article.  12481 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Linguistic Typology

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