Analyzing Linguistic Data: Syllabus
Course: Analyzing Linguistic Data, LIN350
Unique number 40410
Semester: Spring 2021
Course times: Tuesday, Thursday 11-12:30
Course location: online via zoom, with links on Canvas. On in-person days, UTC 4.110.
Course on Canvas: https://utexas.instructure.com/courses/1296638
Instructor Contact Information
Office hours: Monday 1-3 pm, Tuesday 1-2. Zoom link is on Canvas.
office: RLP 4.734
contact: email katrin dot erk at utexas dot edu, or through Canvas, or on Slack
contact: through Canvas, or on Slack
Office hours: 3-4 pm Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Zoom link is on Canvas.
Hybrid Class Main Facts
The main points to know about the hybrid class are summarized on this page.
Syllabus and Text
This page serves as the syllabus for this course.
P. R. Hinton: Statistics Explained: A Guide for Social Science Students. Psychology Press; 3rd edition.
Additional readings will be made available for download from the course website.
The aim of this course is to enable students to analyze text data to answer questions such as: Do women produce more words than men do? Does it matter whether you say "I gave Mary the book" or "I gave the book to Mary"? Can you tell, from the way a wine is described, whether it is expensive or cheap? The course draws heavily on the "breakfast experiments" of Language Log, a linguistics blog that sometimes has small statistical analyses for whatever language-related questions come up. This course will introduce fundamental concepts that will enable students to formulate quantitatively-oriented questions and answer them with appropriate visualization, modeling, and testing.
This class is hands-on. It includes an introduction to programming in Python, and an introduction to concepts from statistics that are needed to analyze text.
We will study the following topics:
Descriptive statistics, and data exploration through visualization
Testing hypotheses: when is a result "significant", rather than a random blip in the data?
Regression modeling: both linear regression and logistic regression
A detailed schedule for the course, with topics for each lecture, is available at the schedule page, which forms part of the syllabus.
This course carries the Quantitative Reasoning flag. Quantitative Reasoning courses are designed to equip you with skills that are necessary for understanding the types of quantitative arguments you will regularly encounter in your adult and professional life. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from your use of quantitative skills to analyze real-world problems.
This course also carries the Independent Inquiry flag. Independent Inquiry courses are designed to engage you in the process of inquiry over the course of a semester, providing you with the opportunity for independent investigation of a question, problem, or project related to your major. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from the independent investigation and presentation of your own work.
Course requirements and grading policy
Assignments: 60% (4 assigments, 15% each)
Initial project description: 5%
Intermediate project report: 10%
Project presentation: 5%
Final report: 20%
Course projects should be done by teams of 2 students. Projects done by 1 or 3 students are only possible with prior approval of the instructor.
Project presentations will be in the final week of classes, in the order given on the schedule page (which will be generated via Python's random.shuffle()). Each presentation will be 5 minutes long. If possible, all members of a project team should get some time to speak. By default, presentations will be at class time through Zoom. Groups that cannot be present at class time may submit a recording of their presentation (5 minutes), which will be due at the beginning of class (2pm) on the day for which the group's presentation is scheduled. By default, this presentation will be shown to the whole class at class time, unless the group asks me not to.
Assignments will be updated on Canvas, There will be 4 assignments. A tentative schedule for the entire semester is posted on the schedule page. Readings and exercises may change up one week in advance of their due dates.
This course does not have a midterm or final exam.
Options for course projects, and more details on the project requirements are listed on the project page.
The course will use plus-minus grading, using the following scale:
Attendance is not required. However, given that we will do a lot of hands-on exercises in class, and the homework assignments and the project address the material covered in class, good attendance is essential for doing well in this class.
If you turn in your assignment late and we have not agreed on an extension beforehand, expect points to be deducted. Extensions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. I urge you to let me know if you are in need of an extension, such that we can make sure that you get the time necessary to complete the assignments.
If an extension has not been agreed on beforehand, then for assignments, by default, 5 points (out of 100) will be deducted for lateness, plus an additional 1 point for every 24-hour period beyond 2 that the assignment is late.
Note that there are always some points to be had, even if you turn in your assignment late. So if you would like to know if you should still turn in the assignment even though it is late, the answer is always yes. The last day in the semester on which the class meets is the last day to turn in late assignments for grading.
Safety and Class Participation/Masks
We will all need to make some adjustments in order to benefit from in-person classroom interactions in a safe and healthy manner. Our best protections against spreading COVID-19 on campus are masks (defined as cloth face coverings) and staying home if you are showing symptoms. Therefore, for the benefit of everyone, this is means that all students are required to follow these important rules.
Every student must wear a cloth face-covering properly in class and in all campus buildings at all times.
Students are encouraged to participate in documented daily symptom screening. This means that each class day in which on-campus activities occur, students must upload certification from the symptom tracking app and confirm that they completed their symptom screening for that day to Canvas. Students should not upload the results of that screening, just the certificate that they completed it. If the symptom tracking app recommends that the student isolate rather than coming to class, then students must not return to class until cleared by a medical professional.
If a student is not wearing a cloth face-covering properly in the classroom (or any UT building), that student must leave the classroom (and building). If the student refuses to wear a cloth face covering, class will be dismissed for the remainder of the period, and the student will be subject to disciplinary action as set forth in the university’s Institutional Rules/General Conduct 11-404(a)(3). Students who have a condition that precludes the wearing of a cloth face covering must follow the procedures for obtaining an accommodation working with Services for Students with Disabilities.
Sharing of Course Materials is prohibited
No materials used in this class, including, but not limited to, lecture hand-outs, videos, assessments (quizzes, exams, papers, projects, homework assignments), in-class materials, review sheets, and additional problem sets, may be shared online or with anyone outside of the class unless you have my explicit, written permission. Unauthorized sharing of materials promotes cheating. It is a violation of the University’s Student Honor Code and an act of academic dishonesty. I am well aware of the sites used for sharing materials, and any materials found online that are associated with you, or any suspected unauthorized sharing of materials, will be reported to Student Conduct and Academic Integrity in the Office of the Dean of Students. These reports can result in sanctions, including failure in the course.
FERPA and Class Recordings
Class recordings are reserved only for students in this class for educational purposes and are protected under FERPA. The recordings should not be shared outside the class in any form. Violation of this restriction by a student could lead to Student Misconduct proceedings.
To help keep everyone at UT and in our community safe, it is critical that students report COVID-19 symptoms and testing, regardless of test results, to University Health Services, and faculty and staff report to the HealthPoint Occupational Health Program (OHP) as soon as possible. Please see this link to understand what needs to be reported. In addition, to help understand what to do if a fellow student in the class (or the instructor or TA) tests positive for COVID, see this University Health Services link.
Academic Dishonesty Policy
You are encouraged to discuss assignments with classmates. But all written work must be your own. Students caught cheating will automatically fail the course. If in doubt, ask the instructor.
Notice about students with disabilities
The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. Please contact the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities, 471-6259.
Notice about missed work due to religious holy days
A student who misses an examination, work assignment, or other project due to the observance of a religious holy day will be given an opportunity to complete the work missed within a reasonable time after the absence, provided that he or she has properly notified the instructor. It is the policy of the University of Texas at Austin that the student must notify the instructor at least fourteen days prior to the classes scheduled on dates he or she will be absent to observe a religious holy day. For religious holy days that fall within the first two weeks of the semester, the notice should be given on the first day of the semester. The student will not be penalized for these excused absences, but the instructor may appropriately respond if the student fails to complete satisfactorily the missed assignment or examination within a reasonable time after the excused absence.
Emergency Evacuation Policy
Occupants of buildings on The University of Texas at Austin campus are required to evacuate buildings when a fire alarm is activated. Alarm activation or announcement requires exiting and assembling outside. Familiarize yourself with all exit doors of each classroom and building you may occupy. Remember that the nearest exit door may not be the one you used when entering the building. Students requiring assistance in evacuation shall inform their instructor in writing during the first week of class. In the event of an evacuation, follow the instruction of faculty or class instructors. Do not re-enter a building unless given instructions by the following: Austin Fire Department, The University of Texas at Austin Police Department, or Fire Prevention Services office. Information regarding emergency evacuation routes and emergency procedures can be found at http://www.utexas.edu/emergency.
Behavior Concerns Advice Line (BCAL)
If you are worried about someone who is acting differently, you may use the Behavior Concerns Advice Line to discuss by phone your concerns about another individual's behavior. This service is provided through a partnership among the Office of the Dean of Students, the Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC), the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), and The University of Texas Police Department (UTPD). Call 512-232-5050 or visit http://www.utexas.edu/safety/bcal
Senate Bill 212 and Title IX Reporting Requirements
Under Senate Bill 212 (SB 212), the professor and TAs for this course are required to report for further investigation any information concerning incidents of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking committed by or against a UT student or employee. Federal law and university policy also requires reporting incidents of sex- and gender-based discrimination and sexual misconduct (collectively known as Title IX incidents). This means we cannot keep confidential information about any such incidents that you share with us. If you need to talk with someone who can maintain confidentiality, please contact University Health Services (512-471-4955 or 512-475-6877) or the UT Counseling and Mental Health Center (512-471-3515 or 512-471-2255). We strongly urge you make use of these services for any needed support and that you report any Title IX incidents to the Title IX Office.