Roeland van Hout
Table of contents

A variety of statistical techniques is available nowadays for the analysis of different types of empirical data. Techniques have been developed for specific research questions and for various data types. It is hardly feasible to give an overview of the whole battery of statistical techniques which potentially can be used in the study of pragmatics and human communication. In principle, there is no good reason why any of the statistical techniques common in the social sciences, could not have a sensible application in pragmatic research. On the other hand, current practice shows that statistical heuristics and models are rarely used in the field of pragmatics. There is no substantial quantitative tradition; the field is dominated by qualitative and interpretive methodology and by formal, system-oriented analysis. Nevertheless, examples of statistical analysis can be found, for instance, in discourse analysis and in stylistics.

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