Linguistics 473
Computational Linguistics Fundamentals
Summer 2017

Computational Linguistics Fundamentals

Course Information

This course examines computer applications in the automatic processing of natural language. Students will develop and reinforce foundational skills in the fields of linguistics, probability, statistics, and computer science, as preparation for further study in computational linguistics.

Topics may include:

  • basic Unix: pipes, regex, issuing cluster batch jobs
  • formal grammars
  • finite-state automata and transducers
  • reading the literature:  ∑,  ∏,  argmax, evaluation, precision, recall
  • random variables, independence, expected value
  • probability distributions, joint and conditional probabilities, Bayes' thoerem
  • data structures and algorithms for text-processing, Unicode
  • overview of current research sub-specialties in the field

Ling473 is required for the following students:

Class Time & Location

Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:40-6:20 p.m.
First Class: Thursday, July 20, 2017
Last Class: Thursday, September 7, 2017
Location: Den 212, or online via AdobeConnect
Credits: 3

Distance Learning

This course is available in a fully-online format. Students have the option to attend class in-person, live-online, or recorded-offline—or by any combination of these. The URL for the online classroom is


David Inman

Office Hours

I am available to meet with students in my office (GUG 407) before class (3:30-4:30). Additional office hours are via Skype (user name posted on the GoPost), and by appointment.


  • CSE 326 (Data Structures)
  • STAT 391 (Probability and Statistics for Computer Science)
  • Ability to program in a programming language that is available on the the UW Computational Linguistics Cluster, such as:
    • C
    • C++
    • C# (Mono)
    • Java
    • Python
    • Perl

Waiver of these prerequisites must be approved by supervising professor Fei Xia.


There are no required texts. The following textbooks are strongly recommended and are required for NLT/CLMS students when they take Ling570:
  • Charles Grinstead and J. Laurie Snell Introduction to Probability
  • Daniel Jurafsky and James H. Martin. (2008) Speech and Language Processing (2nd edition). New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.
  • Christopher D. Manning and Hinrich Schütze. (1999) Foundations of Statistical Natural Language Processing. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Students with Disabilities

To request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact Disabled Student Services, 448 Schmitz, 206-543-8924 (V/TTY). If you have a letter from Disabled Student Services indicating that you have a disability which requires academic accommodations, please present the letter to the instructor so we can discuss the accommodations you might need in this class.