The Laboratory for Empirical Research on Language in Action (LinA-Lab) in C5.022 offers methodological advice and technical assistance in eliciting language data. Our aim is to provide help with language data collection procedures for empirical research, including questionnaires, interviews, experiments and corpus-linguistic techniques. You also have the opportunity to work directly in the Lab during our Opening Hours.

The following resources are available at LinA-Lab:

  • Three Windows computers to work at
  • A large range of language corpora
  • Corpus analysis software
  • Recording equipment (e.g. for recording roleplays or naturally-occurring data)
  • Transcription software
  • Statistics software
  • User guides and various reference books

There are many methods of data collection in Linguistics. Here we distinguish between:

Corpus linguistic methods, i.e. the use of large, ready-made digital collections of naturally occurring language, known as language corpora, for linguistic analysis using specially designed software.

Field and laboratory methods, i.e. field methods being methods used to collect naturally-occurring data; laboratory methods being methods designed to collect language data using interviews, simulations, roleplays, questionnaires, etc.

We regularly offer workshops on various topics, please find more information here.

Corpus Linguistics

Corpus linguistics is the study of language using large, digitalised collections of naturally occurring spoken and written texts, known as language corpora. Rather than a discipline on a par with morphology, syntax or pragmatics, corpus linguistics is an empirical methodology for exploring language as it is actually used by its speakers. Since its conception in the 1960s, and especially in the 21st century, corpus linguistic methodology has been applied in almost all fields of linguistics, from speech prosody and grammar to semantics, pragmatics and sociolinguistics. Furthermore, the existence of a variety of synchronic and diachronic corpora is an excellent basis for observing language change and variation. Corpus linguistics has numerous practical applications as well, e.g. in translation, forensics, and, crucially for future teachers, in the foreign language classroom.


Field and Laboratory Methods

The high degree of subjectivity associated with intuition means that empirical linguists rely rather on observable data of human’s linguistic behaviour in favour of intuition. Field methods, involving collecting naturally-occurring data for use in linguistic analysis, are one possibility of accessing data. Data elicitation methods, such as interviews, roleplays, questionnaires, etc. are other frequently employed methods of data collection. In the end of the day, it is the research question which determines the choice of methods, both field and laboratory methods offering particular strengths, but also limitations.



In order to borrow something, a borrowing form must first be downloaded, printed in dupblicate and signed by a lecturer and the borrower. The borrowing regulations must be read beforehand. The signature on the form acknowledges this. More information

New software available: f4x voice recognition

  • New software for automatic transcription of audio files
  • Time-saving: f4x requires 10-50% less time than manual transcription
  • Very precise transcription
  • DSGVO conformity: high security, encryption of personal data, no data transfer
  • Contingent: 5 hours of audio material per student

To use the software, please send your audio material (via myShare) to There it will be processed and sent back to you via RTF file.

For further information, see

Things to pay attention to:

The finished text file should be closely checked for errors, as the software is not able to transcribe perfectly. The quality of the audio file has to be good and the people on it should speak clearly and slowly. Otherwise the software may have recognition difficulties. The speech recognition software isn’t able to recognize more than two people. If an interview with more than two persons should be transcribed, the LinA-Lab team recommends a revision with f4 transcript, which can be borrowed from the Lab.


Universitätsallee 1, C 5.022
21335 Lüneburg
Telephone: +49.4131.677-1690



Opening hours

The LinA-Lab remains closed until further notice in order to contribute to the containment of the COVID-19 infection wave. The LinA-Lab is available for advice and individual questions at You may also register for online consulting hours via myStudy.

f4 analyse - f4 transcript

New licences available!
Please contact and specify the scope or number of interviews you wish to transcribe/analyse.