Dynamic systems theory, a general theory of change and development, offers a new way to study first and second language development and requires a new set of tools for analysis of empirical data. After a brief introduction to the theory, this book, co-authored by several leading scholars in the field, concentrates on tools and techniques recently developed to analyze language data from a dynamic perspective. The chapters deal with the general thoughts and reasoning behind coding data, analyzing variability, discovering interacting variables and modeling. The accompanying How to sections give step-by-step instructions to using macros to speed up the coding, creating a dedicated lexical profile, making min-max graphs, testing for significance in single case studies by running simulations, and modeling. Example files and data sets are available on the accompanying website (http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/lllt.29.website). Although the focus is on second language development, the tools are applicable to a wide range of phenomena in applied linguistics.
1. List of How to sections; 2. Acknowledgements; 3. Introduction (by Bot, Kees de); 4. Researching Second Language Development from a Dynamic Systems Theory perspective (by Bot, Kees de); 5. Dynamic Systems Theory and a usage-based approach to Second Language Development (by Verspoor, Marjolijn); 6. Coding and extracting data (by Schmid, Monika S.); 7. Variability and DST (by Dijk, Marijn van); 8. Visualizing interactions between variables (by Verspoor, Marjolijn); 9. Modeling development and change (by Lowie, Wander); 10. Epilogue (by Bot, Kees de); 11. How to sections (by Verspoor, Marjolijn); 12. References; 13. Index; 14. Website