Linguistics 566:
Introduction to Syntax for Computational Linguistics

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

Autumn 2007

Course Info

Instructor Info




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: 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.


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:

Schedule of Topics and Assignments (may be updated)

DateTopicReadingDueRecorded lecture
9/27 Introduction/organization
First attempts at a theory of grammar
Ch 1   Recording
10/2 CFG
Why NL aren't CF
Ch 2  Recording
10/4 Feature structures
Headed Rules, Trees
Ch 3  Recording
10/9 Valence, Agreement Ch 4 HW 1 due (Ch 2,3)
answer key
Mean 80,
Median 85.5
10/11 Semantics Ch 5   Recording
10/16 How the Grammar Works Color sldies B&W slides ppt slides Ch 6 HW 2 due (Ch 4,5)
answer key
Mean 77,
Median 80
10/18 Catch-up, review Color sldies B&W slides ppt slides     Recording
10/23 Binding Theory
Ch 7   Recording
10/25 Lexical Types Ch 8:8.1-8.4 HW 3 due (Ch 6)
answer key
Mean 77,
Median 80.5
10/30 Lexical Rules Ch 8:8.5-8.8   Recording
11/1 Grammar and Processing Ch 9 HW 4 due (Ch 6,7)
answer key
Mean 93,
Median 96
11/6 Passive Ch 10  Recording
11/8 Existentials, Extraposition, Idioms Ch 11 HW 5 due (Ch 8)
answer key
Mean 87,
Median 89
11/13 Raising, Control Ch 12  Recording
11/15 Auxiliary verbs Ch 13 Midterm due (Ch 1-10)
answer key
Mean 84,
Median 88
11/20 Long-distance dependencies Ch 14
11/22 No class: Thanksgiving Holiday     
11/27 LDDs (cont) Bouma et al 2001 HW 6 due (Ch 11,12)

Mean 82,
Median 87 answer key
11/29 Catch up, review
Course evals
  HW 7 due (Ch 12,13)
answer key
Mean 83,
Median 85
12/4 Syntax and sociolinguistic variation Ch 15  Recording
12/6 Construction-based grammar
Ch 16 HW 8 due (Ch 14)
answer key
Mean 83,
Median 89
12/12 5pm     Final exam due
answer key
Mean 76,
Median 86
No late finals accepted.