Coding in Linguistics Research

At an excellent Software Carpentry workshop on Bash, I wondered how these skills would be useful to me. How scientists could use programming in their research seemed clear - but in Linguistics, if you don’t do -computational- research?

Several years later, I have put these skills to good use - so here is a compilation. In time, I’ll add links to the code for some of these.


  • Automate the creation of 15 experiment run files
  • Webscraping a turkish corpus to get word frequency counts
  • Identifying the difference between two cognates and their phonological features
  • Creating my own work, food and exercise loggers
  • Dividing words into morphemes


  • Moving and copying files without errors
  • Reminder GUIs to take breaks
  • Text replacement
  • Copying all lines that start with a particular code to a new file
  • Code to open different programs/websites depending on the time of day (to open my work things 9-5)


  • Autofilling text grids
  • Cutting out sounds into individual .wav files


  • Shortcuts to open my favourite files, programs and websites
  • Text replace for my (email) address, phone number, common emails, common misspellings


  • Code to check if a word overlaps in the first sound within ten rows
  • Code to check if word exhibits vowel harmony


  • Slides for teaching and conference presentations
  • Handouts
  • Conference abstracts
  • My MPhil and DPhil theses and submitted work

All in all, totally worth it

Dr Emily Lindsay-Smith
Dr Emily Lindsay-Smith
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

My research interests include phonology, morphology, psycholinguistics and Arabic linguistics.