Workshop: R for Beginners
An introductory workshop for the programming language R
R is a programming language that has become increasingly popular among linguists working quantitatively with data. It can be used to clean and filter large corpora, code for microlinguistic features, and run statistical tests; it is thus of particular use to people interested in corpus linguistics or variationist sociolinguistics. The learning curve of a programming language can be steeper than that of statistical software such as Excel or SPSS. On the other hand, R can be used for both a broader range of tasks and more detailed analysis than such software.
This workshop is meant to be a short introduction to R for people with absolutely no programming experience. The goal is to provide a small taste of what R can do, so as to help overcome the initial steepness of that learning curve. We will take a look at the RStudio software environment and then run through some basic programming code useful for the analysis of a large corpus, working with a Twitter dataset. Finally, we will discuss some tips on working with R more generally for your own future projects.
To follow along the exercises on your own computer, please install the free program RStudio beforehand. Please also download and unzip the file I have uploaded. This contains the programming script and the Twitter corpus we'll be working with.
If you would prefer not to work through the exercises during the workshop, that's absolutely fine. I have included very detailed notes with the script, so you can simply listen along to my talk and then go through the script later in your own time.