Linguistics 566:
Introduction to Syntax for Computational Linguistics

A core course in UW's Professional Master's in Computational Linguistics

Autumn 2014

Course Info

Instructor Info

Links

Syllabus

Description

This course covers fundamental concepts in syntactic analysis such as part of speech types, constituent structure, the syntax-semantics interface, and phenomena such as complementation, raising, control, passive and long-distance dependencies. We will emphasize formally precise encoding of linguistic hypotheses and the design of grammars that can scale up to ever larger fragments of a language such as is required in practical applications. Through the course, we will progressively build up a consistent grammar for a fragment of English. Problem sets will introduce data and phenomena from other languages.

Course goals

By the end of this course students will be able to:

Note

Note: 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.

Requirements

Note: All homework and exams should be turned online via CollectIt as pdf files (only). Absolutely no .doc, .docx, .txt etc.

Late homework policy

I would like to be able to post the answer keys to homeworks immediately after you turn them in, so that you can compare your answers while the issues are still fresh in your mind. However, if there are students who haven't yet turned in their homework, I can't do that. Accordingly, I have adopted the following late-homework policy:

Homework formatting policy

All homework must be turned in electronically, via CollectIt, as pdf files only. (If you are writing the trees/feature structures in your homework by hand, you'll need to scan them to pdf, or if no other option is available, take photos.) All prose answers should be typed. Each assignment should be turned in as as single pdf file. (The sole exception here is turning in partial assignments on time and the rest late for partial credit; under those circumstances, each problem should all be within the same pdf.)

In order to make it possible for us to grade your homework in a timely fashion, please keep all information for a given answer together and preferably in order (you may put a big tree from part B on the next page and let part C precede it, but do not put the tree to the end of the file or some other random place). When we ask for feature structures on the nodes of trees, they should be shown as part of the tree (not separately, especially not on a different page). If the tree is too big to fit on one page, you may break it into meaningful parts (bigger constituents), so long as your answer makes it clear how they fit together. When the assignment asks for feature structures or constraints, these should be shown as feature structures and not as lists of independent statements.

Schedule of Topics and Assignments (under construction)

Lectures will assume that students have completed the assigned reading first.
DateTopicReadingDue
9/25 Introduction/organization
First attempts at a theory of grammar
Ch 1  
9/26     HW 0 due
9/30 CFG
Why NL aren't CF
Ch 2  
10/2 Feature structures
Headed Rules, Trees
Ch 3  
10/3     HW 1 due (Ch 2, 3)
10/7 Valence, Agreement Ch 4  
10/9 Semantics Ch 5  
10/10     HW 2 due (Ch 4,5)
10/14 How the Grammar Works (.ppt slides) Ch 6  
10/16 Binding Theory
Imperatives
Ch 7  
10/17     HW 3 due (Ch 6)
10/21 Lexical Types Ch 8:8.1-8.4  
10/23 Lexical Rules Ch 8:8.5-8.8  
10/24     HW 4 due (Ch 6,7,8)
10/28 Grammar and Processing Ch 9  
10/30 Passive Ch 10  
10/31     HW 5 due (Ch 8);
Midterm posted
11/4 Existentials, Extraposition, Idioms Ch 11  
11/6 Raising, Control Ch 12  
11/7     Midterm due (Ch 1-10)
11/11 No class: Veteran's Day holiday    
11/13 Auxiliary verbs Ch 13:13.1-13.4  
11/14     HW 6 due (Ch 11,12)
11/18 Auxiliary verbs: NICE properties Ch 13:13.5-13.8  
11/20 Catch up, review    
11/21     HW 7 due (Ch 12,13)
11/25 Long-distance dependencies Ch 14  
11/28 No class: Thanksgiving Holiday    
12/2 Syntax and sociolinguistic variation
Course evals
Ch 15  
12/4 Construction-based grammar
Ch 16  
12/5     HW 8 due (Ch 14);
Final exam posted
12/11 11:45pm     Final exam due
No late finals accepted.


Last modified: 9/17/14