Strand 7 : Experimental methods and epistemology (manager : Barbara Hemforth-LLF Paris 7)

One of the central objectives of the current project is the integration of scientific approaches from different disciplines such as linguistics, psychology, informatics and neuroscience, in order to arrive at an empirical and theoretically sound description of a variety. of languages.

While extensive databases such as those developed in the resources section allow a detailed analysis of the factors influencing many linguistic phenomena (see for example Bresnan and Ford, 2010), a considerable number of questions remain to be studied with different methodological approaches, including direct interaction with linguistic informants in more or less controlled situations.

The rich experimental environment of the Labex EFL will make it possible to pool experimental techniques from questionnaire studies, but also more sophisticated techniques such as the measurement of eye movements or EEGs. In order to allow the creation of production corpus adapted to all levels of linguistic analysis, new paradigms will have to be developed and new platforms will have to be installed. The training of researchers and students will be one of the most important issues of the projects proposed in this component. This training will include not only empirical techniques, but especially ethical issues to consider when working with human informants. Our work will also be accompanied by a historically grounded epistemological approach to assess the coherence and degree of “novelty” of this paradigm.


A central issue of the project will be the development of systematic elicitation tasks for endangered languages ​​(Léonard, 2010a, b), which will be systematically compared and discussed in the context of psycho-sociolinguistic approaches.


  • EM1: The epistemological status of empirical data in linguistics (resp. C. Puech) HTL, LLF, LPP-P3, LPNCog
  • EM2: Cross-mediated endangered language elicitation (resp. J-L. Léonard) LPP-P3, LLF, LIPN, CRLAO
  • EM3-EM4: Development of experimental protocols ; mutualizing existing platforms (resp: B. Hemforth) LLF, LPP-P3, LPP-P5, Lattice