In recent years, linguistic theory has significantly expanded its empirical scope. If it has indeed ever been true that theories were built exclusively on the researcher’s own armchair judgements, such is definitely no longer the case. More and more, researchers have turned their attention to databases and corpora of all kinds, to experimental results, and to many other types of data sources. This development went hand in hand with an expansion of the scope of the theories, and collaborations with e.g. historical linguistics, dialectologists, sociolinguists, and psycholinguists.
We believe that this is a positive development; but we also believe that some issues have not been sufficiently discussed. In this workshop we aim to tackle the issue of how to deal with ‘bad data’: many data that we have to deal with has not been collected with exactly the questions in mind that we want to ask. E.g., we have to use the results of a dialect survey of a few decades ago as the money is lacking to set up a new survey; or certain data are simply lacking for a particular historical period.
For more information visit the website of the workshop.